Judge beams 'trekkie' juror from Whitewater case
March 14, 1996
Web posted at: 2:00 p.m. EST
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (CNN) -- An Arkansas woman who wore a Star Trek uniform while serving as an alternate juror in the Whitewater trial was dismissed for talking to the press.
Barbara Adams, 31, one of six alternate jurors hearing charges against the former Whitewater partners of Bill and Hillary Clinton, wore a Star Trek uniform to each of eight court session in the Whitewater trial.
Neither the prosecutors nor defense attorneys had any problem with Adams' unusual sartorial habits until she granted a television interview Wednesday afternoon.
U.S. District Court Judge George Howard Jr., who had warned jurors not to talk with the media, dismissed Adams after learning of her interview with the television program "American Journal."
Adams, a bookbindery employee, had listened intently to testimony in the case against Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and President Clinton's former Whitewater partners, Jim and Susan McDougal. They are being tried on a series of felony charges stemming from complicated business transactions in Arkansas in the mid-80s.
Adams' red and black "commander's" uniform included what Star Trek fans refer to as a badge, a communicator and a phaser. Although lawyers admitted the costume and trekkie paraphernalia were highly unusual, both sides had expressed satisfaction with her selection.
"I think someone's costume or someone's clothing is less important than the content of their character, and we reached the decision, right or wrong -- and we may have made a bad choice -- but we felt she would be a good juror if she was called to serve," said Susan McDougal's attorney, Bobby McDaniel. (194K AIFF sound or 194K WAV sound)
But after Adams' sidewalk interview late Wednesday with "American Journal," McDaniel changed his tune.
"It's absolutely inappropriate for any juror to be contacted by the media," McDaniel said.
Until the interview, the bevy of reporters and camera crews covering the trial had resisted talking to Adams, although she had volunteered the Vulcan salute and said, "I always wear my uniform to formal occasions." (31K AIFF sound or 31K WAV sound)
Adams, who was selected from a pool of more than 150 Arkansas residents, told "American Journal" she believes in the ideals expressed in Star Trek. She said she found Star Trek an alternative to "mindless television" because it promotes inclusion, tolerance, peace and faith in humankind.
Copyright © 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.