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Second Cayuga County Court conviction overturned over improper jury selection

A state appeals court has overturned a Cayuga County Court jury trial conviction for the second time in recent months.

The Citizen reports The state Appellate Division-Fourth Department has ruled the jury was selected improperly in the case of Sid Shabazz Harrison of Auburn. He was convicted in February, 2020 of multiple drug offenses. In September, 2020, Judge Thomas Leone sentenced Harrison to ten years, plus three years post-release supervision. The appeals court ruling, issued December 23rd, grants Harrison a new trial.

The court ruled that a statement made by a prospective juror cast doubt on his ability to render an impartial verdict. The prospective juror said he was a former corrections officer and had “a lot of friends and family members in law enforcement.”

The jury conviction of Justin Tillman of Auburn in March, 2019 was also reversed over improper jury screening.