Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Juror Ejected Because Of Wheelchair Access Barriers
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 16, 2005

LEEDS, ENGLAND--A circuit court judge explained Tuesday why he dismissed a juror who uses a wheelchair from a trial last month, the Press Association reported.

The unnamed female juror was released from jury duty after Judge Kerry Macgill learned that she did not stay with other jurors during breaks in testimony because her wheelchair would not fit into the usual jury areas. Instead, she was left out in the public lobby where she could have overheard conversations from the defense and prosecution that the other jurors did not hear.

Macgill said he regretted having to dismiss the unnamed juror from the death by reckless driving trial, but that he felt he had no choice to release her and the other 11 jurors.

Macgill also expressed anger that the building was not accessible to that juror or future jurors that have physical disabilities.

"The Government has passed all sort of legislation which seems to have been ignored in all sorts of public buildings. She ought to be able to do her jury duty whether she is in a wheelchair or not," Macgill said as he made his decision.

"It would be a horror if in this day and age, with the money spent on buildings, if I had to tell a juror she couldn’t do her duty because of a disability."

"It is a disgraceful state."

The Disability Rights Commission agreed with Macgill's assessment.

"Leeds Crown Court effectively put up a 'no entry' sign to this disabled woman by not ensuring she could be a juror," said DRC assistant director of communications Agnes Fletcher. "In effect, they were saying, 'You don't belong and can't play a full role in society'."

"Disabled people and those with long term health conditions have a right to sit on a jury like anyone else. This incident must galvanize the court into making some immediate changes to the building to ensure it is open for all."

Related:
"Judge: Accuses Court over Disabled Juror" (Press Association via The Scotsman)

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4689038

---

©2016 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email: admin.dd@state.mn.us   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.