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Stupid Case File for July 1, 2006

Don't Try This One To Get Out of Jury Duty ...

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Benjamin Ratliffe tried so hard to get out of jury duty that he found himself in jail.

Ratliffe, 21, of Columbus, was ordered to spend a night in jail after claiming he was a heroin addict and a killer during jury selection for a death-penalty case.

Ratliffe filled out a questionnaire for potential jurors and professed to having a "bad jonesin' for heroin." When asked if he had ever fired a weapon, he wrote, "Yes. I killed someone with it, of course. Right."

On Thursday, Ratliffe, who charged with contempt of court and obstruction of justice, apologized to Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Julie M. Lynch.

"He didn't try to defend his responses, and he lied under oath and he was insubordinate," said Lynch, who ultimately removed Ratliffe from the jury pool and dismissed the charges against him. "You do not make a mockery of the process."


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