Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jury Duty: Part 2

After Monday afternoon when we were selected for a trial we were told to come back Wednesday at 1:30pm for the start of the trial. We were given special badges to get in the back gate & parking lot and in the back door to our special jury room.

I went to work Tuesday & a half day Wednesday and tried to get as much done as I could! Wednesday I almost didn't make it out of there in time but I was not about to get a call from the bailiff asking where I was or have a sheriff's car after me....

Wednesday we heard opening statements as well as testimony from the first witness. I thought the defense attorney was going to get in a fight with the witness - he kept getting so angry. They had to take several breaks to talk to the judge so he could regulate! After that we were sent back into the jury room for a recess and then ended up going home after a half an hour.

Oh I forgot to tell you - 2 other jurors and I started putting together a 500 piece puzzle (yes they have those in the jury room) during that recess and we almost finished it the next day. That's how many breaks we had.

We came back Thursday morning to hear from 3 more witnesses. We then took a break for lunch - almost two hours and heard closing arguments. Then it was time to deliberate. Thankfully, this did not take long as we were almost all in agreement. We found the defendant not guilty.

The case was about an alleged rape of a girl by her supposed best friend and roommate. It was basically he said/she said and we felt that the prosecutor did not present enough evidence for us to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There was alcohol involved and we were all convinced from the defendant's testimony that they had messed around before and this time was no different except the girl got really angry and freaked out. Unfortunately, they both need to go to counseling for alcohol problems but hopefully nothing like this ever happens again.

I think the most interesting part of the case was afterward when the judge came into the jury room to give us his take on the trial and answer any questions. It was really neat to hear from him.

So jury duty was interesting and not the worst thing in the world. It just felt like a waste of time with all that waiting around. But I wouldn't mind getting chosen again.

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