Judge Rejects Request to Exclude Jews from Serving on Jury
A Brooklyn judge yesterday rejected a defense attorney’s motion to ban Jews from serving as jurors at the trial of a man who allegedly sought to join the Taliban, the New York Post reported.
Brooklyn federal Judge Eric Vitaliano ruled that using only a person’s religion to exclude them from a jury would be unconstitutional.
Attorney Frederick Cohn, who is Jewish, first introduced the proposal at an earlier court hearing in February.
"Given that there’s going to be inflammatory testimony about Jews and Zionism, I think it would be hard for Jews to cast aside any innate antipathy,” Cohn said at the time. “The American Jewish community is heavily aligned with Israel and Zionism. Here is a guy who is a Muslim, who is opposed to those things."
Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, who was arrested in 2010, is accused of lying to federal authorities regarding his intentions to join the Taliban during a 2008 trip to Pakistan.
Originally from Staten Island, Shehadeh devised a plan to enter Pakistan to join the terrorist group, but was denied entry, according to the FBI,