Taylor Swift made headlines on Monday (August 29) for being a normal human at jury duty in Nashville, Tennessee, but it turns out her civic stint was short-lived.
TMZ reported Swift was dismissed as a potential juror after a judge ruled it impossible for her to be impartial due to her own still-ongoing sexual assault case against former Denver radio host, David Mueller. The case she was being considered for involved charges of aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, and domestic assault, and the suspect is also accused of forcibly penetrating his alleged victim with a broomstick. Yikes.
For a refresher: Swift accused Mueller of reaching under her skirt and groping her during a 2013 photo opp at a fan meet-and-greet event. The radio personality later lost his job, leading him to sue Swift for slander. This prompted the “New Romantics” singer to countersue Mueller for sexual assault and battery, and she’s still expected to give a full court deposition against him.
On the one hand, I suppose I can understand from a legal perspective the issue of bias here, as Swift’s own related case remains unresolved. “Right to a fair trial” and all that. Yet, this also leads us to wonder—what woman WOULD be found unbiased for a case like this?
According to statistics from RAINN, one out of every six American women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, and another widely quoted report claims the more accurate ratio is one in five. So is the pool of people deemed fit to serve on such cases, then, largely male? And how are we to know that a jury who hasn’t personally experienced sexual assault wouldn’t be just as biased in the defendant’s favor?
We know that 97 out of 100 rapists don’t spend a day in prison. Could this issue of jury bias feed into that? There’s no way of conclusively knowing, but Swift’s dismissal sure dos raise some interesting questions.
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