A Brooklyn judge has rejected a request by a Jewish lawyer to keep Jews off the jury in the trial of a Muslim charged with lying about his alleged attempt to join the Taliban or other terrorist organization in Pakistan in 2008.
Brooklyn federal Judge Eric Vitaliano ruled that it would be unconstitutional to agree to the request of lawyer Frederick Cohn, representing Abdel Hameed Shehadeh.
“If any juror — regardless of race, creed, national origin, sex — can’t accept the instruction of the court . . . that juror doesn’t belong on the jury,” Vitaliano said.
Cohn, 73, allegedly said in a court hearing on the matter that he “wasn’t wild about having Jews serve on the jury” because “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.”