Welcome to the future you chose.
It’s a harsh mistress.
A Manhattan federal judge dismissed a case against a reputed gang member in a shooting last year — because the suburban grand jury that indicted him wasn’t diverse enough.
In a 36-page ruling, Judge Analisa Torres said defendant William “Ill Will” Scott “produced clear statistical evidence” that he was indicted by members of a grand jury pool in White Plains with an “underrepresentation of Black and Latinx individuals.”
Torres, who was nominated to the bench in 2013 by then-President Barack Obama, also said Scott had shown that the grand jury selection process “was susceptible to abuse.”
“The Government has failed to meet its burden by coming forward with evidence rebutting the presumption that such underrepresentation was the result of purposeful discrimination,” she wrote Monday.
“Therefore, Defendant has established a violation of his Fifth Amendment right to a race-neutral jury selection process.”
But in a follow-up letter to the judge, prosecutors said they wanted to “correct the factual record” regarding Scott’s indictment in the June 23, 2020, shooting in The Bronx, saying it was the result of a “non-discriminatory exigency” amid the COVID-19 crisis that forced them to seek the charges in White Plains.
At the time, they wrote, “grand jury availability was exceptionally limited – generally, and specifically in Manhattan – due to the pandemic.”
And when prosecutors sought to have Scott indicted on June 30, 2020, “there was no grand jury sitting in Manhattan” and no grand juries were convened between June 26 and July 8, 2020, according to the Monday letter.
Scott “posed a sufficiently serious risk to public safety that it was untenable to delay his prosecution until grand juries were more readily available,” prosecutors Alexandra Rothman and Jim Ligtenberg wrote.
“Accordingly, to indict the instant case expeditiously and to protect public safety, the Government sought an indictment in White Plains, where a grand jury was available,” they said.
The letter also noted that “identical claims” to those made by Scott were recently rejected by three other Manhattan federal judges overseeing unrelated cases.
But instead of asking Torres to reconsider her ruling, the prosecutors revealed that Scott had already been re-indicted by a different grand jury and his new case was assigned to a different judge.
Scott, 43, is charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition tied to the seizure of three, .380 Eldorado-brand shell casings following a caught-on-camera shooting in which the victim was shot twice in the leg.
Scott is a reputed member of the Bloods gang who allegedly opened fire outside 765 E. 183rd St. amid a dispute with the 36-year-old victim, who lives on the block, law-enforcement sources said.
It was unclear why Scott, who lives around the corner, allegedly targeted the man.
Scott’s rap sheet lists 25 arrests that date to 1999 and include previous busts for attempted murder in a botched shooting, assault, burglary, weapons possession and drug charges, sources said.
Who knew the Bloodz were still a thing? I thought that was only related to 1990s rap music.
Of course, it wasn’t ever a real thing – it was just blacks choosing either the color blue or the color red so they had an excuse to shoot random other blacks wearing the opposite color. It’s basically the exact some thing as WoW PvP.
But hey – whatever.
The point here is: with every federal judge who makes an insane ruling like this, we solidify the future of the two-tier justice system.
I hate to point it out, but there were people on Derek Chauvin’s jury who were actual BLM supporters who went on record after his conviction and said they lied to get on the jury so they could convict him.
Of course, this specific case is slightly different because it’s a grand jury, but it follows the same erosion of the most basic concepts of equal justice.
Why would anyone want to live here?