Tattoos get woman booted from Bobby Ferguson jury pool
Defense seeks jury reselection as woman's dismissal leaves just 1 black juror
DETROIT – Sherry Willis is at the center of controversy in a federal trial that hasn't even gotten started.
On Tuesday, the 39-year-old Detroit woman was among the pool of potential jurors in the Bobby Ferguson bid-rigging case.
By Thursday, the mother of four was out. She was given the boot because of her tattoos and her refusal to look at the prosecutor.
"When I left, I did think of it like, why? Why would they dismiss me? I thought I would have been one of the people that was there," Willis said.
Her dismissal leaves just one African American on the panel. The rest are white. The defense says that's not the racial diversity needed in a case such as this. Willis agrees.
"The most people that were in there were Caucasian and the areas where they lived are all Caucasian," Willis said.
The final jury has been seated, but now there is a chance the jury selection process will start over at the defense's request.
For Willis, the entire experience has changed how she sees herself.
"I see not that because I have tattoos on me that it makes a difference," she said. "I'm being judged by it so I don't want to be judged by what I have on me. I want you to judge me for me, a citizen of the United States of America. That's what I am."
Copyright 2012 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.