WHAT A FUNNNN THREAD!! IMO, OF COURSE. NOT FUNNY, THO.
I got called for Grand Jury duty in Phila a few years back,what a horrible experience. I took the train into center city, i was an hour late due to the broken down train,that was my first argument. the courthouse was run by angry black women,being from a foreign country,I couldnt understand their ebonics which started the second argument. When he Judge asked if there were any questions,I asked him to explain "Jury Nullification" which started the third argument. I explained I am juror protected by the constitution,I consider everybody in front of the grand Jury to be railroaded by tyrants,so my vote is not guilty,no reason to go to trial.
lesson learned ,Dont piss off an irishman because the train broke down!
For the most part,I believe the jury system works in the local courthouse
Thanks for a very unique story, Mike!
LOLOLOL GOOD ONE, MIKE!!
I SAT THRU 2 DAYS OF LISTENING TO MY COUSINS' DRUG CHARGE HEARING. HE GOT FOUND GUILTY, EVEN THO' HE TRIED TO LIE IS WAY OUT.
THEY LET HIM POST BAIL, BEFORE HIS SENTENCING HEARING OF 25+ YEARS. HE TOOK OFF... THEY "COULDN'T FIND HIM".
A COUPLE YEARS LATER, I GOT THE NOTICE THAT I HAD TO FILL OUT TO BE A PROSPECTIVE JUROR. I DIDN'T FILL ONE LINE OUT. INSTEAD I WROTE A LETTER TELLING THE COURT THAT I'D NO MORE MAKE A GOOD PROSPECTIVE JUROR THAN I WOULD A RESPECTIVE JUROR! I "REMINDED" THEM OF MY COUSINS' CASE & SAID: "THOSE JURORS LOST TWO DAYS OF THEIR LIFE ~ FOR NOTHING! NO, THANK YOU!
A COUPLE YEARS LATER, I "GOT CALLED UP", AGAIN!! THAT TIME, I JUST SENT 'EM A COPY OF MY 1ST REFUSAL.
25 YEARS OF BEIN' ON THE LAM... HE CAME BACK, TURNED HIMSELF IN & THEY LET HIM GO FREE. NO FINE, NO NOTHIN'!
I greatly enjoyed being a juror around 2000.
It was a break in to an unoccupied house by 2 guys that took the fireplace mantle.
One guy had already been convicted and was in prison and we were not allowed to know about it.
When they were doing the jury selection, the defense attorney kept throwing many more out than he ok'd with challenges.
They had to call up another group, while we waited and he did the same thing, objecting to most of them too.
He had rejected several dozen and finally, the judge lost his temper and told the defense attorney that he wasn't bringing any more potential jurors in. He had to decide which ones of those remaining that he wanted or they would be picked for him.
One of the questions he asked and was on the questionnaire was whether we ever had somebody break into our car or house? Obviously thinking that a person like that would be biased against his client.
I had my car stolen in Detroit and broken into in Cincinnati. While here, I had my car vandalized and broken into by a stalker, then my apartment broken into here, then my apartment burned down by the stalker 15 years previous.
I realized why they were asking but unlike you guys, I wanted to be a juror really bad because I knew that I would be gifted at analyzing facts and doing critical thinking and using that, not past incidents to make decisions.........so I lied and said that I never had those things happen.
The defense attorney asked us if we had any ties to or had friends in law enforcement/cops(so that he could keep people like that off the jury).
On that one, I was honest. The power lifting gym that I belong to , The Pit Barbell Club had dozens of cops as members and I was friends with several, including the owner, who was a cop. The lead detective on this case was actually a friend from the The Pit.
I gave them some of the names and even pointed to the detective that was there but said that I wasn't going to let that influence my decision. Only the facts mattered.
I couldn't believe it when the defense attorney wanted me on the jury after that. The only thing that I can figure is that I was still pretty well known from 11 years on television and of course it was on the questionnaire. He must have thought it meant a liberal bias that would help him.
So the trial was silly. An extremely credible married couple living in the house next door watched the 2 guys carry the fireplace mantle out of the house. The couple testified on the witness stand.
The cops caught up with them a block later, after they had carried it away.
This was his defense:
He wanted to smoke crack that he already had with him on that cold January day but his friend didn't allow crack smoking in his car. So the friend drove to this house, where he said the door was unlocked (the lock was damaged from them breaking in) so that he could go to the basement to smoke his crack, then go back to his friends car.
While he was in the basement, smoking crack, not knowing what was going on upstairs his friend picked up the fireplace mantle by himself and carried it out the door without him knowing about it. This, despite a man and woman next door watching BOTH OF THEM carry it out.
Testifying to his story was his friend/accomplice. He was there(From Pendleton high security prison several hours north of here) with a guard and dressed in prison clothes and in shackles.
We were not allowed to know that he was there for already being convicted of this crime that was part of an extremely long rap sheet. This attorney wanted to try them separately and we had to leave the court several times for them to discuss what we were not allowed to hear.
While this trial is going on, I kept thinking..........."what a waste of tax payers money for all of us to be here with this circus" He tried to claim the cops framed him.
Finally, on day 2 it was time to deliberate.
We spent over an hour going over all the facts several times so that we were sure the prosecution proved that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
First vote was 10-2 and I wondered what was going on in the heads of those 2.
So we hashed it out and 1 of them quickly agreed, ok the guy is guilty.
However, a girl in her 20's continued to insist that he might be innocent. How did we know for sure he was lying, he really might have gone down there to smoke crack.
So we all sort of ganged up on her with the overwhelming evidence and after a couple of hours.........she finally broke out crying and blurted out "My dad is a crack addict and he never did anything wrong other than smoking crack and people unfairly judged him his entire life!!!"
Wow! After that, she agreed to go along with the rest of us but was crying and sobbing the entire time.
We voted several times to make sure that she was on board for good. Then we came out to announce the verdict. Guilty. However, her face was all red and she was still sobbing a bit.
So the defense attorney asked each of us individually, if we agreed with the decision. We all gave a definitive YES! except for her. She said yes thru some sobbing. The clever defense attorney picked up on this and asked her several times. Juror number X are you SURE that you agree with this verdict? He knew it took a long time to deliberate and could see that she was the reason why.
Juror X, you can still change your mind if you don't agree with this decision. Are you still sticking with guilty?
She said yes, then we went back in the jury room.
The judge came in to tell us about all the things we were NOT allowed to hear.
1. The guy had been convinced of numerous other crimes similar to this one (unrelated to drugs) and we were not allowed to know about those........getting the impression that he had no history, even though he had just got out from his previous offense.
2. He had also been charged with habitual offender and they would have started a new trial for that one but the defense attorney, after getting guilty from us, pled guilty on that one with a plea bargain.
3. His partner in this crime, testifying/lying on the stand for him........was in prison for numerous offenses, the last one being convicted of the crime he was charged with. Stealing the fireplace mantle.
After the judge told us this, I turned to the girl and said "see, he wasn't an innocent man smoking crack like your dad and you did the right thing" She was still very upset.
Being a juror one time does not qualify me to know how often this sort of thing happens but it made me realize how hard it can be in some cases to convince all 12 people that they should take away a persons freedom when there's a voice in their head of 1 of them saying "there's a small chance that he/she might be innocent!"
I greatly enjoyed the experience, seeing how things work and how they can be dysfunctional.
The ability to challenge jurors can be abused and a clever defense attorney is looking for that one biased juror that he/she thinks can be convinced to vote not guilty.
They know enough about the jurors to have a decent idea who to target and how.
I was picked in 2008 at the county courthouse for an armed robbery trial.After all the legal speeches at he opening of the trial,the prosecuter had a small billboard with the defendant pointing a gun at the cashier,then they played the
911 call and police dispatch,then the dashcam. We were summoned to the jury room while they had a sidebar meeting.We came back to the courtroom,the judge thanks us and explained that the defendant decided to wise up and plea bargain.
What a waste of time! I found out later,he got five years in state prison. he could have received 18 months if he didnt fool around and waste everybodies time.
Me too.recently for petit jury selection.
Selection was done via zoom and after having answered a questionnaire , I was interviewed by the judge and both attorneys. Judge told me I was in!
I was looking forward to the whole thing. A short while later after the other several dozen prospective jurors were interviewd I was dismissed without a reason. Look hard and long enough and you'll find someone to agree with you.
Thanks for all the great comments!
In reading your posts and thinking about it more, especially my one case it really is clear how extremely flawed the system is.
Clever defense attorney's know how to use the flaws as already described. No doubt some prosecutors that are judged based on convictions and getting justice for victims are often focused on that, instead of having reasonable doubt.
When they go to court, their job is to convince a jury of one thing and the defense attorney's job is to convince the jury of the exact opposite thing.
2 really smart people and both of them distorting the truth because its their job and the jury has to figure out which one is closest to the truth and isn't allow to see all the facts.
The defense is allowed an extremely wide berth to embellish and concoct convincing sounding stories in order to try to capture the mind of 1 or more gullible jurists. In my case, a retarded story wasting our time...........but it almost worked!!
Speaking of which. A couple days later, I saw the detective at The Pit Barbell Club and of course we talked. For me, this was an exciting, once in a lifetime experience. For him, just another day on the job.
He said that he and his cop buddies all bet that I would be the jury foreman/person. It made me realize that when they pick juries, both sides are wondering and projecting who will be the jury foreperson as they go on in the process.
I can see how this can make a profound impact!!
In our case, I was thinking the same thing...........that I was going to be the jury foreman and I really did not want that because I was there to be an observer, then have just 1 vote like everybody else, while learning.
I don't remember the very initial process, except that 1 fairly young guy really took charge from the moment we got into the jury room.
He really wanted to be jury foreman and nobody challenged him, so it was a unanimous thing. After observing him for 2 days, the guy missed his calling. He was extremely gifted and could have made a wonderful prosecutor or even judge. We were blessed to have him.
Almost no juries have somebody like this and could have gotten messed up by the girl that insisted that she had reasonable doubt.
He spent an hour from the get go going over all the facts meticulously and having an open discussion that featured everybody voicing any reasonable doubt thoughts. The girl chimed in a few times about reasonable doubt with no explanation, except that the guilty guy might be telling the truth, before I thought she would actually vote that way.
When she insisted on not guilty, he handled it like a pro. He went over the facts again and got everybody to put pressure on her.............until she finally caved.
Less assertive/talented jury foreman might have accepted an 11-1 verdict. That would have been a great travesty of justice. Knowing how close we were to that because of the flaws in the system(flaws in people really) which are exploited constantly by defense attorney's paid to get guilty people off.
That's their job, besides getting innocent people off.
Commenting on your last post , mm:
I’m under the impression attorneys on both sides are mandated with ensuring the defendant and plaintiff are both provided fair legal representation of their side and the same presented to the jury. And the purpose of that is to best represent both sides to the jury for objective debate.
But that part has been swept aside and replaced by the “ marketing departments “ of the prosecutors and defenders.
Worse than Smoke n Mirrors , Hollywood and Info-mercials.