The Black Table has an interesting piece written by Mia Amato, who had the strange fortune of being screened as a potential juror for the trial of John Gotti Jr. Somewhat remarkably, Amato made it to the voir dire phase of screening, where the judge began to ask personal questions:
"You say your family had a construction business? Masonry and contracting? In New Jersey?"
"Yes, my father and brother."
That seemed to clinch it for the judge. No wait, I wanted to pout, we were clean! Dad only handled residential contracting, small stuff. The fix was in commercial business! Just don't ask me about the time he was asked to build, in somebody's basement, a square cinderblock room that had no door...
I realize suddenly that I'm now being profiled. We jurors are anonymous but it's clear by my coloring and my jewelry that I am Italian. I'm the victim of stereotyping. The way my friends won't believe me when I explain to them that my Dad, retired now, keeps getting comped for all those dinners and shows in Las Vegas just because he's a nice guy, the hotel people know him and he's very polite and sweet to the staff. Yeah, right, they tell me. Your Dad's connected, right?
I look at John Gotti Jr. and feel his pain.
None too surprisingly, Amato was not selected. But you saw that coming.