A prosecutor in Missoula County, Montana was forced to reach a plea agreement in a felony drug case after almost all 27 members of the jury pool said they would not convict the suspect for possessing such a small amount of marijuana.
Touray Cornell was arrested after a search of his house turned up used joints, a pipe, and pot residue. The search was prompted by neighbors complaining that he was allegedly selling drugs, which he reportedly admitted to in an affidavit. According to <Beaumont Enterprise, Cornell’s “criminal history includes numerous felony convictions.”
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But none of this was enough for the potential jurors, who all told District Court Judge Dusty Deschamps that they would not convict him for the pot. “I thought, ‘Geez, I don’t know if we can seat a jury,’” Deschamps told the Missoulian.
He then called a recess, during which Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul worked out a plea deal. Paul described the incident as “a mutiny.”
Even Cornell’s own attorney was flummoxed, calling it “bizarre.”
“I think it’s going to become increasingly difficult to seat a jury in marijuana cases, at least the ones involving a small amount,” Deschamps said.