[Stop-traffic] News/US: Sex-immigration case still lacks whole jury

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Sex-immigration case still lacks whole jury
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 22:45:53 EDT

Sex-immigration case still lacks whole jury

A third day of jury selection ended Wednesday without a jury being
impaneled to hear the trial of five people accused of violating immigration
laws to bring two Chinese women to the United States for sexual purposes.

Through a process of elimination, attorneys are gradually narrowing the
field of more than 150 potential jurors.

Opening statements could begin this afternoon or Monday morning. U.S.
District Judge George Howard Jr. has decided to recess the trial on
alternating Fridays, beginning with the first week, to give attorneys time
to regroup and allow himself time to handle other matters.

As a result of questioning on Wednesday, Howard sent eight potential jurors
home. They included two people excused, one for illness and one for a
personal problem, and six people stricken at the request of defense attorneys.

Among those stricken for cause was Debra Hanks, wife of former KARK-TV,
Channel 4 reporter and anchor Mel Hanks, who now works for KTHV-TV, Channel

Mel Hanks once worked for David Jewell Jones, the main defendant in the
case who was previously the station's general manager and then part-owner.
Prosecutors worried that the newsman's wife -- who acknowledged her husband
had a generally good opinion about Jones -- might favor the defense.

Another man stricken for cause admitted during individual questioning in
the judge's chambers that he harbored some prejudices that could interfere
with his ability to decide the case fairly.

Aside from Jones, of Bryant, the defendants include Little Rock restaurant
owner Tony Ma and his wife, Mary Ma, both of Mabelvale; Little Rock lawyer
Mark Riable; and Fordyce dentist Bob Newton Rushing.
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
Stop-traffic is facilitated, international electronic list
funded by the Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
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