Friday, April 11, 2008

Jury duty - Day two
10 am - We return to the courtroom Wednesday morning, and it's the attorneys' turn for voir dire. The same thing happened to me as before when I've been questioned - the lawyers like to use me as a teaching tool for the other jurors:
Lawyer: "Ms. X, you're an attorney, my client is entitled to have the case proved against her beyond a reasonable doubt, correct?"
Me: "Correct"
However, I am less inclined than the other jurors to just adopt what the lawyers say, and I assume this will get me excused. In my mind I am sure that one of my answers was enough to make the defense boot me, and another, the DA.
11 am - I am wrong. I am selected as juror no. 3 - one of the 12 jurors and 2 alternates.
After lunch we get down to the nitty gritty. The female defendant is accused of aiding and abetting two men who went into the home of the victim, and beat him with a bat and hammer in the middle of the night. In addition to stealing his drugs (allegedly) and money, they clean out his garage and steal his car. She drove them to the house, and waited for them outside. She had also threatened the victim earlier in the evening. She is later apprehended in the company of tattoo man (see below) at a no-tell motel in Lake Elsinore. Attacker number 2 is apprehended - driving the stolen car - in a Jack-in-the-Box parking lot.
The defense is that - 1. we should not believe the victim because at the time of the crime he had pending against him charges for possession with intent to sell and prostitution. (He was caught with the hooker, he isn't one himself); or
2. the attack was some sort of white supremacist pay back/drug deal gone bad (one of the attackers has an iron cross and swastika tattoos).
The defense attorney seriously grills the victim (ok, we get it, he's a minor league drug dealer who paid a hooker 60 bucks for oral sex, and is not the sharpest tool in the shed). Overall, the victim is a believable witness, and appears to have turned his life around from hanging out with sleazy meth heads. (He met the defendant when his bi-sexual then girlfriend brought her home for a three-some). We also have a steady stream of cops testify, including one undercover one who is kind of attractive in a looks like a tattooed bad boy who hangs out on Main Street in HB kinda way . . . but I digress.
It kills you as a juror to not be able to discuss with anyone what you are hearing in testimony. You REALLY want to turn to the juror next to you and say - "do you believe this shit?"
The case is given to us Monday afternoon, late. We begin some initial discussions and it seems most of the jury is on the same page, except for maybe, two guys. We don't take any vote on any of the 4 charges
Tuesday morning we resume. As has been my experience in the past, jurors from all walks of life take their assigned task seriously, and want to get to the right result. After reviewing the evidence and the charges, we find her guilty on all charges.
Jury duty is an interesting and valuable experience, though incredibly inconvenient. It's also a bit disconcerting to convict someone of serious charges.
Once more observation - many people react to jury duty service by another as if that person is just too freakin' stupid to have found a way to get out of it . . . Everybody should do it at least once.
Me? That was my third time . . . .


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already served once, and did not get selected two other times when I went. Maybe it's the minority in me, but I still don't like appearing in a courtroom for any reason.

2:09 PM  
Blogger sage said...

Wow, you got the x-rated trial--bi-sexual three somes, oral sex--all the details you probably didn't want to know. I've been called more times than I can remember, but as I wrote about last year when called up by the big leagues (federal court), I have only served on one jury--back when I was in college and 21 years old.

7:18 PM  
Blogger LA said...

Wow...that's a hell of a cast of characters!

I've only actually served once on a jury. It was a civil case, and the plaintiff didn't prove cause, so we found for the defendent. It wasn't a very interesting case and the characters weren't nearly as colorful as yours.

My next closest time, I was dismissed once during voir dire because I was actually seated with a woman I worked with. Seriously, what are the odds of that happening? They didn't want two people who knew each other on the same jury, and I can't say I blame them.

So, did you give the cute cop your number?

9:54 PM  
Blogger Auburn Kat said...

I am sure I would find it interesting but also annoying!

8:00 AM  
Blogger EditThis said...

I have to go back in September. I really don't want to serve. I don't think it will be as interesting as watching Alan Shore do a closing.

5:15 PM  

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