Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Posted by Courtney at 12:31 PM
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Matt got a very special letter the other day! He got summoned to JURY DUTY!!!
"I was called to go 'try out' for a jury; they called 25 people (they gave us numbers and they just read that number) to go to the court room where the judge asked if anyone knew the defendant, or the witness, or the lawyers, or judge. Some people stood and told who they knew. They where sent back to the jury selection room. Then they called 13 people,12 and 1 alternate that would be chosen and random after the trial. (I was not among them.) The judge asked them questions like what do you do for a living, and about your family, and so on. Depending on their answers they were asked to stay or dismissed. To fill the seats of those dismissed they called in more people to ask them the questions. That's how I got on the jury. When I was called, the judge just asked me what I did for work, where I went to College, where I went to High School, and how long I have lived in the county. I was also asked if I had any law classes, 'Aviation law' I replied. That was it, I was on my first jury... After some instructions from the judge we started the trial.
We had a felony assault charge with a handgun. It was just like in the movies the lawyers had their opening statements. (But with out any context it did not tell me a whole lot.) Next came the witness for the prosecution. They told what they saw, and what they where doing. Then the cross examination where the defense tried to raise the reasonable doubt level. I believed some of what they where telling me and did not believe other parts of their testimony. Next the police officers who responded to the 911 call. They were good officers and did a good job of investigating the call; but they did not find any physical evidence at the scene. When the detective that was in charge of investigating the crime testified I thought that she did a great job. While the defendant did not take the stand, he did talk to the cops so we got to hear his side through them. It took a while to get through everything. But when all of the witnesses and the little evidence that was presented were finished we had the closing statements from the attorneys. And the final instructions from the judge.
I was chosen as the jury foreperson! We started our discussion on guilty or not guilty, we took a early vote (I voted not guilty) and it was tied. I knew it was going to be a long day so we ordered lunch early. After all day of talking about the case and the evidence we all came together and ended up with a not guilty vote. I decided that he was not guilty due to lack of evidence while he might be guilty of the crime I needed to have proof! And the witnesses were a brother and sister who had a feud with the defendant; so I could not believe every thing that they said with out being tainted.
So that was my experience and it was so much fun I was cracking jokes, I am so glad that I had the chance to get to serve. So when you get a chance to serve I would hope that you would want to."
Posted by Courtney at 12:33 PM