Author Topic: Jury Duty can be fun  (Read 1389 times)

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Brademan

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Jury Duty can be fun
« on: December 05, 2011, 09:09:06 PM »


    I spent the day doing my civic duty to day: jury duty, that is. Wasn't prepared for much of anything, but I enjoy the system and watching how our judicial process works. I got a better deal than I figured, with the case I drew.

    I was empaneled on a jury hearing a Burglary case at a local cold storage warehouse. Several interesting things came out in court. Deputy responded to 3 tripped alarms at the location; time - 0300. Finding an exterior door unsecured, he went in, did the usual clearing process, worked his way to the second floor and found a suspect in an office apparently using the phone.

    Suspect turned, deputy saw the flash of a knife clip in his front pocket. Fun ensued while the deputy controlled the suspect and cuffed him. No resistance, and the perp is yelling, "I was only trying to get warm!" "I know my rights!"

    In addition to the knife, there is also a small, boxed Maglight in the suspect's possession. Fast forward now to court.

    Knife and flashlight are revealed to be the property of the engineer of the cold storage warehouse. Suspect has no permission to be there, is a transient with priors, and claims to have only been trying to get out of the weather, not steal anything.

    Clearly the perp wants to be found guilty of criminal trespass instead of burglary 2, Much lighter sentence. (This actually went to superior court for a jury trial......odd)

    In the jury room, I end up as presiding juror and find that there is one juror who doesn't understand the definition of 'intent'. She think that the poor fellow didn't INTEND to steal when he went in there........therefor he should not get the more severe conviction. It actually took about an hour to convince her that having the property of someone ELSE.....in his pocket...demonstrates INTENT to steal it.

    Verdict [finally] found. Burglary 2. Bye bye BG.

    I enjoyed the experience, glad to have been able to serve. It's interesting to learn a bit about human nature....and I even got to meet a real live sheep!

 ;D
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Shawn Hoyle

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Re: Jury Duty can be fun
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 10:33:43 PM »
Yes, very interesting Brademan. I served on a week long DUI case about 15 years ago. I don't remember much about it except that he had some priors and we convicted the guy. Then, fast forward to three years ago, I sold a car to a guy who looked really familiar but I just couldn't place him. It bugged me for about 6 months before I finally realized that he was the guy that I helped convict. Wow, small world.
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Coastie

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Re: Jury Duty can be fun
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 07:06:08 AM »
Good scenario and description Brademan!  Thanks for sharing.


Yeah I love jury duty, but haven't been called for a while.  The last time I served was
as a Grand Juror and that was for a year period, which I've wrote about in the past. 
It was a worthwhile experience and if anyone wants to do it (in S. CA you get paid
per day and mileage) then it can be rewarding that way as well  :D   

GTG

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Re: Jury Duty can be fun
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 09:54:05 AM »
Curious what you were asked by both sides before being seated? G2G
'The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.' Henry Kissinger

"A Nation Of Sheep Will Beget A Government Of Wolves" Edward D Murrow

"Either We Are A Country Of Laws With A Constitution, Or We Are A Banana Republic"

Brademan

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Re: Jury Duty can be fun
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 10:33:24 AM »
Curious what you were asked by both sides before being seated? G2G

They asked all the jurors a series of questions around the idea of how we felt about opinion versus fact and whether the rule of law should stand, even if we did not personally agree with it.  It was pretty standard civics and eithics sort of stuff.  In short, it all boiled down to: "Can you be impartial?"  They excused 2 jurors from the initial panel and that was how I ended up being seated.
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Para Driver

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Re: Jury Duty can be fun
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 09:03:07 PM »
All is well and good until you draw that high profile case that takes months to iron out. I know a guy that happened to. Here we get $15 a day and getting a hardship dismissal is almost impossible. Hard to pay the bills on that salary.

Brademan

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Re: Jury Duty can be fun
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 10:00:37 AM »
I understand that logic.  Im my case, my company pays my regular wages during jury duty, minus whatever the court allowance is ($10 a day here), so going to the duty is not a hardship. 

Just lucky, I guess.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 10:25:12 AM by Brademan »
Brademan
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GTG

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Re: Jury Duty can be fun
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 10:07:01 AM »
Quote
how we felt about opinion versus fact and whether the rule of law should stand, even if we did not personally agree with it.

Rule of Law / Jury Nulification! Being Honest that would have gotten me kicked out! G2G

Jury Nulification
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Jury+nullification
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Coastie

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Re: Jury Duty can be fun
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 10:16:35 AM »
Curious what you were asked by both sides before being seated? G2G

They asked all the jurors a series of questions around the idea of how we felt about opinion versus fact and whether the rule of law should stand, even if we did not personally agree with it.  It was pretty standard civics and eithics sort of stuff.  In short, it all boiled down to: "Can you be impartial?"  They excused 2 jurors from the initial panel and that was how I ended up being seated.


The only jury I sat on was quite a number of years ago and was asked the similar things. For some reason they asked me about gun control and whether I was an advocate for firearms or against and I told the truth.  Bam, in I went.  But the case never amounted to much and was dismissed by the judge within 1-2 days.


My wife, on the other hand sat in a S.CA jury for weeks and it was about a gangbanger who had robbed a store in Rialto, CA.  Who had exchanged shots with the store owner, who was armed protecting his store.  The gangbanger's (GBer) actions were the direct cause for his buddy to be shot and killed by the business owner and for some reason the GBer was taken into custody and on trial.  He didn't walk.  Despite his getting cleaned up and who had a good statements to the court/judge/jury, as well as his daddy...he's in the State prison system for a long time!  It was quite fascinating the stories that my wife would tell me during the trial.