Re "Sleepy Juror Gets Rude Awakening," April 20: Maybe Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Veals needs to spend some time in the jury waiting room to see how his senses would react to the monotony.
Any fine for a yawn or bodily function is reprehensible, and then to admonish the juror for making a statement outrages any normal thinker. It just shows that the judge was attempting to hide some very contemptible behavior on his part.
It is appalling what Veals did to the juror who yawned loudly in court. No wonder so many people try to get out of jury duty.
The juror was originally fined $1,000, a sum later reduced to $100. The juror was also detained for two hours.
The court system has become a joke in many ways.
David Van Buren
I'd like to applaud Veals for demanding the respect his courtroom and the judicial system in general deserves. I had the pleasure of my first call to jury duty about two months ago.
For the two days it took to select the jury, I was absolutely appalled at the disgusting rudeness, apathy and general contempt shown by many of the 34 supposed "good citizens" in that pool.
The judge amazingly remained a cool and respectful professional the entire time, but toward the end he did say to one overly contemptuous man, "Well, this is our judicial system and until someone changes it, it's all we have."
I'd like to translate the judge's statement: "If you don't like this country's judicial system, get out. Go to a country where you don't have to worry about juries and fair trials and similar nonsense ruining your life."
Veals fines a juror $1,000 for yawning. L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley says Robert Blake was "guilty as sin" and that the jurors who acquitted him of murder were "incredibly stupid."
And the response rate for jurors in Los Angeles County is 41%. No wonder.