FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA., OCT. 15 -- Six tedious days after the obscenity trial of the rap group 2 Live Crew opened here, the prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed on six jurors to hear the case.
This was supposed to be a three-day trial, start to finish. But it dragged because of the defense team's efforts to seat at least one black juror.
It got one, but only one -- a retired cook. Still, the defense said it was satisfied with the panel, which is composed of four retirees and two young men, one of whom says he likes music and enjoys going to nightclubs. The other is a diesel mechanic who said profanity didn't unnerve him because he'd heard just about everything there is to hear when he was in the Army.
"I like them," defense lawyer Bruce Rogow said of the jury. Prosecutor Pedro Dijols said he too was pleased.
Opening arguments are set for Tuesday.
The lone black juror represented something of a victory for Rogow, who has made race a central issue of his defense. Earlier, prosecutors successfully challenged two prospective black jurors who said they liked the 2 Live Crew.
The retirees, all women, include a sociology professor, a hospital admitting clerk, a school principal and the cook. Three alternates were selected, among them a black retired school principal.
The rappers, Luther Campbell, Mark Ross and Christopher Wongwon, are charged with staging an obscene performance. They were arrested in June after completing a late-night show before an adults-only crowd at a Hollywood, Fla., nightclub. The show contained songs from their hot-selling album "As Nasty as They Wanna Be," which was found to be obscene by a federal judge here.
The defense team struggled to avoid an all-white jury, such as the one that two weeks ago convicted Fort Lauderdale record store owner Charlie Freeman for selling the "Nasty" album. Rogow objected to the county's method of drawing jury polls from voter registration lists, and waged a failing argument that blacks are disproportionately underrepresented because fewer blacks register to vote.
Dijols, who is black, took a shot after court at Rogow's racially oriented defense.
By seeking black jurors, Dijols said, the defense is "inferring that blacks have a lower moral standard and a lower ability to communicate. If they are truly concerned with the race issue, they'd put their money where their mouth is. There are many fine black defense attorneys here in Dade and Broward County."
Rogow is white.