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Juror excused from panel before opening statements had medical problems

A woman who was dismissed from serving on the jury panel before the start of opening arguments for the second-degree murder trial against former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle was excused by the court for medical reasons, according to documents made public today.

Juror No. 2, a white female juror, was dismissed by Judge Robert Perry last Thursday prior to opening statements at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, where the trial was moved over concerns about whether Mehserle could receive a fair trial in Alameda County. The juror was replaced by one of six alternates, a Hispanic female who is serving on the panel of 12 jurors deciding whether Mehserle intentionally shot and killed unarmed train passenger Oscar Grant, 22, on January 1, 2009.

The jury does not include anyone of African American descent, a concern for Grant’s family who said the omission of a black juror could compromise the fairness of the panel.

The current jury is made up of eight women and four men of Caucasian or Hispanic heritage.

The California Beat and The Campanil’s joint continuing coverage of the Johannes Mehserle BART Shooting trial is funded in part through Spot.Us. Visit our special trial news page and help fund this project.

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