The judge in the John (Junior) Gotti case has expressed concern that his fate could be decided by a panel of dimwits, reports the New York Daily News. Asked in a questionnaire to name the three people they admire most, several potential jurors irked federal Judge Shira Scheindlin by failing to answer. “In the whole history of the world, nobody comes to mind?” the judge asked one potential juror. Pressed, one juror finally offered “myself.”
The exchanges left Scheindlin wondering aloud about the intelligence of jurors who will decide whether Gotti conspired to kidnap radio host Curtis Sliwa. “I can’t figure out people who admire nobody,” Scheindlin said. “The smart people maybe know how to get off [jury duty]. That’s troubling.” Asked to name the people they least admire, outside of family members, two women still named their mother. Twenty-nine potential jurors have been selected for a racketeering trial that’s scheduled to last two months. Jury selection turned into a pop culture quiz for the judge, who had trouble recognizing the names admired by some jurors. Rapper Jay-Z, actor Ewan McGregor, and hip-hop impresario Sean (P. Diddy) Combs failed to register on the scholarly judge’s radar. She did recognize Bill Gates, Donald Trump, and Walt Disney.