An accused Opa-locka drug dealer
An accused Opa-locka drug dealer has won a new trial with an only-in-Miami argument: The jury pool contained too many people whose last names start with the letter “G.” Of 38 potential jurors in the pool, 21 had surnames starting with ”G” and 14 of those were of Hispanic origin: six Garcias, two Gomezes, two Gonzalezes, two Guerras, a Gutierrez and a Goldares. Quoting William Shakespeare and The White Pages, defense attorney David O. Markus persuaded a federal judge that the panel violated Roderick B. Carter’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury comprised of his peers. Carter is black. ”There is no way Mr. Carter can get a fair cross section of the community. That’s especially true in this case where the overwhelmingly majority of G surnames are Hispanic,” Markus said. The jury pool featured one black man and five black women. Markus said he didn’t rely on any fancy statistical analyses to bolster his point, just the phone book. The ”G” section of the Miami White Pages is 80 pages long. According to Markus, more than half of those residential listing pages — 43 to be exact — are filled with just five surnames: 14 pages of Garcias, six pages of Gomezes, 18 pages of Gonzalezes, two pages of Guerras and three pages of Gutierrezes.