Monday, January 29, 2007

My Civic Duty

The county of Riverside has my number! I get a summons for jury service every year. This year is no exception, and this is my week to call that 1-800 number everyday this week until they need me. It is incredible how they think you can drop everything and leave work at the drop of a hat. You would think there was a better way to find jurors.

I have been called in 4 times. I only had to sit in a jury once. I hung the jury, but not how you would normally associate a hung jury. I thought the guy was guilty. I actually got one person to see it my way, so the final tally was 10 not guilty, 2 guilty.

Sitting through the trial I thought this was going to be a no brainer. It was just this simple.

The guy on trial was a convicted drug dealer. He was serving his second sentence for dealing drugs. $5000.00 worth of black tar heroin was found in his locker at the local penitentiary. The drugs were hidden in his deodorant bars. The drugs were found during a routine search by the prison guards.

The guy’s only explanation was that –
A) The guards didn’t like him and must have planted it in his locker. And….
B) He never locked his locker! Anyone could have put it in there!

OK, I am a firm believer in if it looks like shit, and it smells like shit, it probably is shit.

One other thing, the judge instructed us that we could use the defendant's drug dealing history against him in this trial.

To me it sounded like we would deliberate for about 30 minutes, give the guy his third strike, and be home before lunch. Wrong! I guess I could have just gone with the consensus and that would have happened, but I was not having any of that. The defense had given me nothing more than what I stated above as a defense, common sence told me this was shit.

Basically the rest of the jurors believed the convict and thought the prison guards lied. Why the guards had a reason to lie I don’t know. Why they would use $5000.00 worth of drugs to frame this guy I don’t know. $100.00 would have worked just as well. What I do know is that 4 jurors had relatives in jail and said they could make an unbiased judgment in this case. Every single one of them was leading the argument against the guards. Why the idiot D.A. let them be on the jury I don’t know. One of them actually called me a Nazi because I would not see her point of view. At that point one other juror change his vote to guilty.

After the trial, the lawyers wanted the jury to hang out and talk to them about how they could possibly do things different, or if they should even bother. The jury was never polled, but the assistant D.A. knew exactly who voted guilty. She asked me flat out, “What the hell happened?” I told her how the guards were scrutinized more than the convict, and that they should have never let family of convicts sit in this kind of trial.

Oh man, I just checked the county web site. My group reports at 7:30 tomorrow morning. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a juicy entry tomorrow. If not, I’ll have to write about why I have to stop now and clean up the puke my dog just spewed on the carpet.


Natalie said...

Lordy! Between kids and dogs, the blogging world has gone barfy! What's the deal?

I had jury duty last year when I was still living in Chicago. My boss thought I was lying (no worries, she was a frickin' bitch) and made me copy her on all paperwork. I surely did... and I copied her emails to me and sent them all to her boss.
So there.
I sat there for hours and hours and hours waiting to be told I wasn't chosen and could go home. Now, why couldn't they do that by phone? I had to do the same call in the night before but they still made me (and a hundred other people)come in.
Makes no danged sense!
I hope you get a real juicy one, too.
I'm nosey like that.

Mominator said...

Oh man! You get the fun stuff! Everytime I get called for jury duty it's for a malpractice trial or something of that sort. Like they want the wife of a physician on that jury. Hope you get picked if it's interesting. Glad you were on the last one! Those dirt bags need to be put away for life.

Miranda said...

It's my turn to call that 800 number in 2 weeks. With the way work has been lately, I don't know what I'll do if I'm asked to serve.