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20 comments

1
Nojay UK  May 2, 2016 • 2:20:07pm

Thank you for your service.

The law is clear, the situations where it is applied are often less clear. That’s why they put schmucks like you in front of the evidence, the defence argues its case and you get to decide.

2
Backwoods_Sleuth  May 2, 2016 • 2:21:54pm

I’ve served on juries and it’s always been difficult, mainly for the reasons you mention.
My worst experience was when I was jury foreman and almost everyone else on the jury insisted on disregarding the law and the judge’s instruction. They wanted to find for the defendant solely because they felt sorry for her.

Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings.

But, like you, I would do it again.

3
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 2:25:30pm

re: #1 Nojay UK

Thank you for your service.

The law is clear, the situations where it is applied are often less clear. That’s why they put schmucks like you in front of the evidence, the defence argues its case and you get to decide.

The defense never even made a case save for a closing argument.

4
Stanley Sea  May 2, 2016 • 2:25:45pm

Great write up. During the trial did the defense get into how the assault law was applied?Seems like they could’ve hammered how it shouldn’t have applied to clerk b. Bet they were an overworked public defender?

When I served last summer, during a break in deliberations I was so frustrated I called a friend to scream that these people, my peers, are fucking idiots.

The law in my case was way more clear, and our instructions were very succinct. Half of the jurors were dimwits who wanted to go into ‘what if ’ situations, specifically not allowed.

Serving on a jury is such a great experience as well as a simple basic duty. Glad you did.

5
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 2:26:16pm

re: #2 Backwoods_Sleuth

we all felt bad for the defendant, there was a ton of stuff saying this is a situation gone bad and given her situation it thoroughly sucked but there was no denying she broke the law.

6
Stanley Sea  May 2, 2016 • 2:26:26pm

re: #3 Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance

The defense never even made a case save for a closing argument.

That is very sad.

7
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 2:28:14pm

re: #4 Stanley Sea

Great write up. During the trial did the defense get into how the assault law was applied?Seems like they could’ve hammered how it shouldn’t have applied to clerk b. Bet they were an overworked public defender?

When I served last summer, during a break in deliberations I was so frustrated I called a friend to scream that these people, my peers, are fucking idiots.

The law in my case was way more clear, and our instructions were very succinct. Half of the jurors were dimwits who wanted to go into ‘what if ’ situations, specifically not allowed.

Serving on a jury is such a great experience as well as a simple basic duty. Glad you did.

We tried to avoid “what if” situations but they came up. I think everyone was serious about it and one juror was a lawyer and helped with the legalese. The defense did question the witnesses about how the knife was held but even then, the law the way it is written made the defendant guilty even if they never intentionally acted against the one clerk. That’s why this has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

8
Cheechako  May 2, 2016 • 2:35:08pm

re: #7 Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance

I’m amazed the Judge, Prosecutor, or Defense Attorney did not challenge having a lawyer on the jury.

9
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 2:36:33pm

re: #8 Cheechako

I’m amazed the Judge, Prosecutor, or Defense Attorney did not challenge having a lawyer on the jury.

he practiced insurance law. He could navigate legalese but had no criminal experience.

10
CuriousLurker  May 2, 2016 • 3:41:32pm

Good on you for doing your civic duty and doing it without whining!

11
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 3:45:05pm

re: #10 CuriousLurker

Good on you for doing your civic duty and doing it without whining!

thanks. I really did want to do it which surprised everyone I think. The judge was going on about how no one really wants to be here and when the prosecutor asked if anyone really wants to be here I raised my hand and was asked why which led to me being used as an example lol.

12
Romantic Heretic  May 2, 2016 • 4:08:02pm

re: #10 CuriousLurker

Good on you for doing your civic duty and doing it without whining!

This.

This, voting and seeing in time of war are the duties of a citizen. People who won’t do any of those things should be shipped somewhere to live without bothering those of us who understand the concept of ‘duty’.

13
KGxvi  May 2, 2016 • 4:24:24pm

Speaking as a lawyer: the law is typically written broadly so that it covers as many contingencies as possible. We have a few hundred years worth of precedent (some of it older than the US) and it often gets tweaked. Many times, it gets tweaked because something that should have been covered wasn’t covered. The area of intent is one of those areas that has seen the most consideration.

14
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 4:26:08pm

re: #13 KGxvi

Speaking as a lawyer: the law is typically written broadly so that it covers as many contingencies as possible. We have a few hundred years worth of precedent (some of it older than the US) and it often gets tweaked. Many times, it gets tweaked because something that should have been covered wasn’t covered. The area of intent is one of those areas that has seen the most consideration.

I think the assault was one area where specific intent should have been applied, especially in this case. The defendant was going after one specific target to the exclusion of all others and even when they were in a position to go after the other clerk they never turned towards them or went after them in any way. That’s what I have a hard time with.

15
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 4:26:46pm

re: #12 Romantic Heretic

This.

This, voting and seeing in time of war are the duties of a citizen. People who won’t do any of those things should be shipped somewhere to live without bothering those of us who understand the concept of ‘duty’.

Thanks, I would definitely do it again. If I was ever in that situation I’d want 12 people willing to serve as well.

16
CuriousLurker  May 2, 2016 • 4:48:47pm

re: #15 Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance

Thanks, I would definitely do it again. If I was ever in that situation I’d want 12 people willing to serve as well.

THIS. And preferably not *tap-tap-tapping* impatiently because they’d like to get out of there as quickly as possible.

17
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 4:51:43pm

re: #16 CuriousLurker

believe me, my boss would have been happy to have me back but I was not going to rush things. To find someone guilty or not guilty is a BFD.

18
KGxvi  May 2, 2016 • 4:54:01pm

re: #14 Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance

I think the assault was one area where specific intent should have been applied, especially in this case. The defendant was going after one specific target to the exclusion of all others and even when they were in a position to go after the other clerk they never turned towards them or went after them in any way. That’s what I have a hard time with.

Unfortunately, there are cases where the defendant/perpetrator is going after one specific target that they misidentified, so they didn’t intend to assault that person, but they did. I get what you’re saying, and in this particular case it might make sense, but the law has to be written for a wide spectrum of cases.

I’m also guessing, based on what you said of the defense, that it was handled by the public defender. It’s stories like this one that make me an advocate for better funding and resources for public defenders. But that’s something that doesn’t sell politically.

19
Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  May 2, 2016 • 4:57:42pm

re: #18 KGxvi

I get the intent vs. general. I just think that especially in this case intent should have been included vs. the general intent argument. I also think assault is defined way too broadly given what I saw in the video and what the charges were. But going by the letter of the law the defendant was guilty and that was a hard one for me to wrap my mind around given what we saw.

As for the defendant’s attorney, I’m sure the guy was a public defender. For one thing he looked like Penn Gillette went on a bender and lost a fight with Gery Curl. But stereotypes aside he was a public defender and doing his job, I just don’t think he did it that well.

20
Snarknado!  May 2, 2016 • 7:15:54pm

I was almost on the jury of a civil case years ago, but it was going to last at least two weeks, which I couldn’t do because of my work schedule (and a good thing too, it was a civil case and hearing the attorney’s description, I thought someone should have taken a stick to both of them).

Then I was seated on a jury, but the defense attorney tossed me out on a peremptory challenge. (The person who was dismissed just before me — a lawyer — said it was probably because I was too comfortable, having recently served on another jury. I checked the case online — information available since it was another civil trial — and after the plaintiffs presented their “case,” the defense moved for dismissal, which was granted. That WOULD have been a waste of time.)

So the one jury I did serve on was a criminal trial, a young woman who was the receptionist in a House of Ill Repute, charged with pimping. We convicted her after less than a day of deliberations. (11-1 on the first vote, and an hour or two of talking with the one holdout, trying hard not to gang up on him.) That was another sucky judgement — the way the law is written made her indisputably guilty, but really, pimping? She was a freaking receptionist, frevvinssake!

I also enjoyed my time, and consider it my civic duty to do it when I can — and it’s educational. NEVER have a nice long recorded chat with the sympathetic detective who arrests you. Even with the way the law is worded, she might have got off if she’d kept her mouth shut.


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