KSFN, Fresno’s ABC-TV affiliate, announced the resignation of a top executive whose comments about minorities during jury selection prompted a judge to dismiss an entire jury pool, reports the Fresno Bee. Sitting as a potential juror in Fresno County Superior Court last week, station president Bob Hall said he couldn’t be a fair juror in a Hispanic man’s carjacking trial because research by the station’s newsroom showed a propensity for Hispanic males to commit violent crimes. He also said the prosecutor wouldn’t spend money on these cases unless the defendant were guilty.
The comments prompted a judge to dismiss not only Hall, but all who heard him — a jury pool of nearly 50 people. Lawyers say such an action is highly unusual. Hall apologized on-air for his comments and said he did not intend to imply that his station’s newsroom had ever conducted research about minorities and crime. A KSFN spokesperson said, “The newsroom has conducted no such research and is not working on any stories about Hispanics and crime.”