Wisconsin Juror Fined Just $300 After Abandoning Deliberations To Party In Cancun

Ivana Samardzic, 20, is one lucky lady that her trip to Cancun was not shorten to a trip to the can. The Wisconsin juror was supposed to be deliberating a verdict in a felony shooting case when she simply left for the airport to go on vacation, calling the clerk from the airport to say that she left her vote in the jury room and did not want to lose out on the family trip. To the surprise of many, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge JD Watts (shown here) did not jail her for contempt but simply let the 11 member jury decide the case and fined Samardzic $300. The case that Samardzic abandoned involved a wonderfully named defendant, Spartacus Outlaw, who was accused in a felony shooting case.

Accounts described “Juror No. 4” as not saying much in the jury room deliberations before walking out to go party in Cancun. She is Serbian born.

Samardzic, 20, said that she was delighted to have escaped a jail sentence and added “I don’t know if this was worth it, but I did have a good time in Cancun.”

As for Outlaw, he was left with 11 jurors, which convicted him of being a felon in possession of a gun, but deadlocked on the charge of reckless injury with a dangerous weapon. The vote was 8-3 on the second charge. Not only did Outlaw have a reasonable expectation of having a full jury, so did the victim and his family. While Outlaw agreed to proceed with just 11 jurors and thus effectively waived the issue, Samardzic’s conduct is truly shocking. Her brother explained her legal argument succinctly, “I guess it’s just one of those situations where, you know, [expletive] happens.”

The decision by Watts to proceed under the civil rather than the criminal provision is a bit of a surprise for many. Watts, a former prosecutor, gave her a mild lecture and let the matter drop. I am not usually someone who advocates jail to concentrate the mind of citizens but I think a couple days in jail would have been a useful lesson for Samardzic on basic ethics and civics. In the very least, I would have liked to see a much higher fine. What do you think?

Source: Journal Sentinel

30 thoughts on “Wisconsin Juror Fined Just $300 After Abandoning Deliberations To Party In Cancun”

  1. This really is shocking, and as a descendent of a number of Revolutionary and Civil war veterans, I am bloody offended. Let her go back to her home country if she doesn’t take her civic responsibility seriously. My gggggrandfather, Benjamin Dole, didn’t enlist on April 23, 1775, and nor did his brother Jonathan Dole enlist on the same day, nor did their younger brothers Elijah and Jeremiah Dole get involved in skirmishes on April 19, 1775, for this young punk to go on vacation. My gggggrandfather was the only one of his siblings to survive the Revolution; his three brothers were killed by the Brits. These three valiant young men (my ggggggranduncles) did not give their lives for this punk to go on vacation. If you want to live in a democracy with a Due Process Clause then suck it up and do your jury duty. Whatever happens, I hope this little tit is never granted citizenship.

  2. The Wisconsin juror was supposed to be deliberating a verdict in a felony shooting case when she simply left for the airport to go on vacation, calling the clerk from the airport to say that she left her vote in the jury room and did not want to lose out on the family trip. To the surprise of many, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge JD Watts (shown here) did not jail her for contempt but simply let the 11 member jury decide the case and fined Samardzic $300. The case that Samardzic abandoned involved a wonderfully named defendant, Spartacus Outlaw, who was accused in a felony shooting case.
    —————————
    I got fined over $800.00 for a disorderly conduct citation sent to my house in the mail from West Allis WI. Ask Jenna. She thinks she’s an assistant city attorney. At least I got my $61.00 back.

  3. Yah dere, hey? Next Saturday I’m goin’ up by Eagle River once, aina? Fer da muskies, y’know. My brother’s goin’ with,

  4. No, he calls it “headin’ to the shack.” In our part of the woods we say “erno,” rather than “aina.” (Are yous comin’ to the shack, erno?”

  5. You should see what happens at the Milwaukee County Courthouse on the first day of Deer Season.

    (Footnote: Failure to capitalize the words “Deer” and “Season” in Wisconsin is a misdemeanor with a mandatory 30 day jail sentence.)

  6. I was excused from jury duty once. I was a federal employee called to a federal court for a case in which a bank was suing Pinkerton’s Security Service. Asked about possible connections, I said that I worked for Pinkerton’s while going to college. I was excused – by Pinkerton’s lawyer.

    I was selected for a jury, from which I fully expected to be excluded. It was a civil case. A tenant got drunk, had sex, and fell asleep with a lighted cigarette. The apartment was destroyed. The tenant was suing the owner, because the smoke detector battery had worn out.

    The tenant was a $6.00 / hour produce clerk. He said that migraine headaches resulting from the fire precluded a return to work. He’d been planning to quit his produce job to become a $9.00 / hour meat cutter. He wanted $2000 each for six destroyed suits plus $9.00 X 40 hours for the rest of his life.

    The tenant’s lawyer asked my occupation. I said I was a Disability Claims Representative for Social Security. He asked if migraine headaches were an approved cause for disability. I replied “Rarely.” He asked if I knew the owner’s lawyer. I said he’d represented a few Workers Comp beneficiaries in trying to get Social Security, and also had my ear about how much impact the Workers Comp type had on the ultimate SSA benefit. He asked if I knew his Vocational Experts. I said, “They’re not Vocational Experts for any neutral agency. They’re self-employed and write claimant-friendly work evaluations for lawyers who specialize in award of Social Security Claims. I’ve read their work as part of my work. I generally decide work restrictions after reader doctor reports about daily activity restriction.” I now assumed that I’d move to the next jury pool, but the tenant’s lawyer said, “We have no objection to this juror.”

Comments are closed.