Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ever searching for what we were promised./Reaching for that golden ring we'd never let go,/but who would ever let us put our filthy hands upon it?

I should start with the trial. As I said last time, I was picked for the jury. We did learn during voir dire that it was a murder trial, though not with a capital punishment element. Had it been, I would certainly have been excluded as I am anti-death penalty.

They told us that we would almost surely be done in two days, by the end of Wednesday. I must admit that I was a little shocked a murder trial could be tried and decided in that short time. It doesn't seem appropriate to really discuss the case, so I think I'll offer some bullet points:
  • overhead projections of the dead young man, shot in the head three times as he sat behind the wheel of his car.
  • an overzealous, overconfident, though not very smooth prosecuting attorney.
  • a badly dressed (on purpose?) public defender whom i found disarmingly effective.
  • a case based on what I considered to be quite shady eyewitness testimony.
  • a pointed absence of any motive (motive wasn't necessary to decide the case, but still!).
  • the imposing presence of an audience composed equally of friends of the defendant and the deceased.
We were sent to the jury room shortly after the trial started the second day. I approached deliberations with a confidence that everyone felt the way I did -- it seemed so obvious! To me the prosecution clearly didn't prove their case, not beyond a reasonable doubt. I was quite shocked when we took an initial vote, just to see where the room stood: 6 guilty, 4 not guilty and 2 undecided. I knew there was no chance whatsoever of my vote being changed and after a good amount of discussion, it was clear that the guilty voters were immovable as well. The most we could hope for was bringing the two undecideds to the not guilty side. After a friendly group lunch, we resumed deliberations, got the two over to the not guilty side and ended with a firm 6-6 hung jury. It was shocking, really, that the life of a person could have been decided so quickly.

The lesson learned? Maybe I shouldn't be so eager to get picked for jury duty.

And, I'm blonde again. Not as light as I'd like, but it's getting there.


Allison said...


My last jury duty involved a "We Caught You With Pot" case at the BP at Bates and Virginia. I got off because I said I was in that gas station all the time (LIE) and that I knew what that neighborhood was like.
Plus, the defense attorney asked if we though police had "special powers". My fate was sealed when I raised my hand and said, "Like being able to see through walls?"
It got a laugh, though!

Cat Pick said...

Talk about sassy! You are one smartass, dodging-your-civic-duty spitfire. *S*

dana said...

Love the hair, Ms. Blondie-locks!