The experience I had in MA was really terrific. This was in Middlesex County, which is where Cambridge is located--the jury pool was top heavy with folks with academic and scientific degrees--a couple of engineers, a couple of doctors, and so on. The deliberations were a lesson in practical reason. It made me believe that the whole idea of juries is one terrific way of handling justice. There were some lawyerly schticks that bothered me, during the case, but on the whole even the lawyers were pleasant. It was a civil suit, though. I imagine a criminal case would be a different story.<br><br>
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
I was on a jury for the first time last year, and it was an educational experience to be sure. It was a standard DIU case. A guy was leaving a casino when a cop noticed he was weaving into the other lane and so he pulled him over and performed field sobriety tests. The driver had already admitted to having "a couple drinks", and he failed all the field tests and admitted to it. The driver then agreed to take a breath test at the police station. He failed it miserably; his blood alcohol was nearly double the legal limit and this was probably an hour after he was pulled over.<br><br>What happened at the courthouse was incredible. The jury selection process took hours. Several people just told the judge they couldn't be impartial because they "hate cops" (that one works, trust me).<br><br>When the trial actually began it was the most amateur, ridiculous presentation by the prosecution I could imagine. The lead prosecutor appeared to be in her early twenties and she had a stutter. She tried to use a Powerpoint presentation but neither her nor her colleague could get the computer to work (stupid PCs ). The only witness was the deputy sheriff that made the arrest. He was a young arrogant prick fresh off the farm (the defendant was black, btw) that started out polite but began to act annoyed after a few hours. <br><br>The defense lawyer was a mid thirties woman with long blonde hair, lots of gold jewelry, and I kid you not... a black leather jacket! She would stride up and down the jury box and say things like, "what do we really know about this so-called 'breathalyzer test'. Sounds like a bunch of technological mumbo-jumbo to me!" It was incredibly funny and I had to stop myself from laughing the first hour or two. After that I wanted to cut my own throat it was so boring and redundant.<br><br>When the time came to deliberate I was chosen as lead juror (no idea why) and nearly every single juror but me wanted that man innocent on both counts (DUI and blood alcohol over the limit, two separate charges). It was amazing! Now I'm a commie bastard and the prosecution was anything but dynamic, but every piece of evidence was right there, including time stamped, calibrated originals from the blood alcohol machine. Not to mention the guy admitted to drinking and failing the field tests. I ended up conceding that the DUI (swerving, field test, etc.) could have been subjective and so in exchange the entire group agreed on a guilty verdict for the blood alcohol charge. When it came down to it they all hated the cop, but most amazingly, NO ONE believed the dang machine!!. In essence, evidence didn't mean sh!t.<br><br>So, the guy was found guilty of being over the legal limit, but not of the actual DUI (however that works). The funniest thing of all was that the defense lawyer was crushed. She thought for sure he would be innocent of both charges. Hilarious!<br><br>My overall impression of an entire day at the courthouse is that with a jury anything is possible. Anything.<br><br>
Interesting story..thanks for sharing. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p><br>My overall impression of an entire day at the courthouse is that with a jury anything is possible. Anything.<p><hr></blockquote><p>One need look no further than the morons that acquitted OJ Simpson to confirm that theory. <br><br>
In California, or at least in my county, you also get onto the jury duty call list from your license renewal & registration at the DMV. I guess these people shouldn't drive either due to fear of being called for jury duty.<br><br>
Boy, that's so different from my experience, Trog! The case I heard involved the crash of a small airplane, and the plaintiffs were asserting that the manufacturer of the airplane knew taht the design of the fuel system was defective. We had lots of interesting testimony about company policies, company memos, engeneering reports on the design, etc. etc. Sure there was some of the rhetorical crap that you'd expect. (Putting "Do you want this jury to believe . . . " in front of any statement makes for a hell of a difference in tone!) But still, the lawyers for both sides were absolutely and impressively professional, as were the jurors. The engineers on the jury were especially helpful in working through schematics and so on. But as I say, that was Cambridge, MA. I suspect that Reading, PA would be a very different experience <br><br>
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
I've served on two juries. One a criminal case for the "Pleasant Grove Cat Burglar", basically a guy broke into houses at night and stole ATM cards. His girlfriend was the getaway driver. The most damaging piece of evidence was all the cards he had in his possession and they had several ATM video captures of him getting cash with the girlfriend behind him in the pics. Open and shut.<br><br>The other case was civil. A guy placed an ad in an adult newspaper to get a threesome between him, his wife and another woman. The wife was against it but after a few beatings agreed to participate. The wife and the woman they got for the threesome fell for each other and he never got to participate in an actual threesome which enraged him. The wife filed for divorce but he wanted the kids. After several lurid tales of his abuse we awarded the case to the wife. Oh and he represented himself...which totally blew the case, he was a real idiot. Again, open and shut.<br><br>Both trials only lasted 2 days and I really enjoyed participating in the justice system. I recommend it to anyone.<br><br>
Wow, you get all the luck. Cat burglars and threesomes. I've been called three times and each time it was sitting on a cold bench for 3 hours until they dismissed us. No questions, no Perry Mason stuff at all. <br><br><br><br><br><br>luciferase is a four nineteener
I really lucked out on those two cases. The entertainment value alone was worth it! I got called for JD in March but just landed a new job and got it postponed until December. We'll see what that brings. <br><br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ezyrider on 10/05/04 03:11 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
Xplain's use of MacNews, AppleCentral and AppleExpo are not affiliated with Apple, Inc. MacTech is a registered trademark of Xplain Corporation. AppleCentral, MacNews, Xplain, "The journal of Apple technology", Apple Expo, Explain It, MacDev, MacDev-1, THINK Reference, NetProfessional, MacTech Central, MacTech Domains, MacForge, and the MacTutorMan are trademarks or service marks of Xplain Corp. Sprocket is a registered trademark of eSprocket Corp. Other trademarks and copyrights appearing in this printing or software remain the property of their respective holders.
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.