A juror has been charged with juror misconduct in a Long Beach medical malpractice case this week. Deonarine Persaud, 53, solicited a bribe from the plaintiff last Sunday, May 15, in exchange for a favorable jury verdict.
According to the Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Persaud called the plaintiff's mother on Saturday, purporting to have important information about the defendant, without indicating that he was a member of the jury. The family notified their attorney, while the plaintiff's father agreed to meet with Persaud the next day at the Freeport Home Depot.
When the father greeted Persaud, he immediately recognized him from the trial. There, Persaud asked for 5 percent of the verdict amount in exchange for a favorable decision, which Persaud was prepared to deliver.
The father and his attorney reported this to the judge as soon as they could. The judge notified the DA, an investigation ensued, and Persaud was arrested when he entered the courthouse yesterday.
His charges were, "bribe receiving by a juror, a Class D felony, and first-degree misdemeanor misconduct by a juror." His court proceedings begin tomorrow, May 19, and he is represented by the Legal Aid Soociety of Nassau County. His maximum prison sentence is seven years.
DA Kathleen Rice believes, “Juror misconduct undermines the constitutional rights of plaintiffs and defendants and threatens the sanctity of our justice system.” Indeed, this juror's actions artificially tip the scales of justice, thereby nullifying the possibility of a fair trial for the parties involved.
Although this sounds like a scenario for a movie (there was a recent movie starring Gene Hackman as the defense strategist who carefully took pains to ensure that his big money clients got favorable decisions), the unfortunate reality is that this really happened. Jury selection is supposed to obtain jurors from all walks of life who claim to be fair and unbiased. Clearly, trying to solicit a bribe from the injured victim's parents go beyond any ethical or legal conduct for a juror.
If you would like more information about how medical malpractice and accident cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website http://www.oginski-law.com. If you have legal questions, I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.
Gerry practices law exclusively in the State of New York. Within New York he practices primarily in the following counties: New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau and Suffolk. Technically, Brooklyn is known as "Kings County," and Manhattan and New York City are known as "New York County." Staten Island is known as "Richmond County." These counties make up the New York metropolitan area.