“And after Wellons was convicted and sentenced to die, jurors presented the female judge with a gift of “chocolate shaped as male genitalia,” as the Supreme Court recounted it. If that were not enough, they gave the bailiff a chocolate gift “shaped as female breasts.””

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Today in SCOTUS Death Penalty jurisprudence: The Supreme Court concluded that a chocolate penis given by the jurors to the judge “raised serious questions concerning the conduct of the trial.” Ya think? See the Supreme Court ruling granting cert. See particularly footnote 3 of the Alito dissent (which Roberts joined):

The main reason for the interviews was to inquire about the gifts, and the proffer shows that the jurors who were interviewed discussed this matter. See, e.g., App. C to Pet. for Cert. 35 (a juror”stated that‘we,’ the jurors gave a pair of chocolate breasts to the bailiff and the chocolate penis just followed”); ibid. (a juror”stated that some of the jurors decided to send a pair of edible chocolate breasts to one of the female bailiffs and an edible chocolate penis to the trial judge”); id., at 37 (a juror”remembered discussion about giving a chocolate penis to the judge”). Nevertheless, petitioner’s proffer includes no information as to why the gifts were given:not even a statement to the effect that the jurors interviewed were asked this question and said that they did not know. Cf. id., at 35 (noting that a particular juror”did not know whose idea it was to send the chocolate penis to the judge,”but not including any representation as to her understanding of why the gifts may have been given (emphasis added)).

–Ann Bartow

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