Two prosecutors disciplined for criticizing jurors on Facebook

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Two Minnesota prosecutors are in hot water after posting derogatory messages about jurors on Facebook.

According to the Brainerd Dispatch and KFGO-790 in Fargo, North Dakota, the two prosecuting attorneys for the Clay County Attorney’s Office have been disciplined. KFGO-790 reports that the remarks were made in reference to a jury that had recently acquitted a defendant accused of sexual misconduct. Prosecutor Pam Harris had posted on her Facebook page that she was “spending her week with 12 idiots,” prompting prosecutor Jenny Samarzja to post: “A shining moment for Clay County! Wake up people!” (Harris also made reference to Helen Gamble, the prosecutor played by Lara Flynn Boyle on ABC’s The Practice—presumably for the episode in which she goes off on jurors after an acquittal and calls them “too stupid to get out of jury duty.”)

“I apologize to the jurors who worked as hard as they did on that trial; and really do apologize to all of the citizens of Clay County,” Clay County Attorney Brian Melton said in a statement. “The words that were used were completely and utterly wrong.”

Melton said he started investigating the prosecutors after receiving complaints from courthouse employees. KFGO-790 reports that the prosecutors have been issued written reprimands. Melton did not rule out additional punishments, such as suspensions.

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