In Michigan
5:26 pm
Mon June 28, 2010

Mich. court questions ethics of Detroit-area judge

DETROIT –

The Michigan Supreme Court has overturned a multimillion-dollar verdict and criticized a Detroit-area judge for keeping a woman on a jury because she's black.

In a 5-2 decision, the court says race can't be a reason for including or excluding a juror. The justices say the acts of Wayne County Judge Michael Callahan could be the basis for the Judicial Tenure Commission to investigate him.

The court ruled Monday in a trial involving a $15 million verdict in a fatal crash. A lawyer for Ampco System Parking had asked that a black woman be struck from the jury pool because she was a widow who'd recently lost her mother.

Callahan refused, saying the jury must reflect the diversity of Wayne County. A message seeking comment was left for the judge.