December 01, 2009

A Long Day for $15 and a Movie

I have another migraine. This one started when I got called into the courtroom for final selection of a jury. The room was so damn cold, after 2 hours I was clenching my teeth to keep my teeth from chattering... and it went down hill from there.

What an odd and very long day.

I was dismissed and I'm kind of bummed because I think the guy was really innocent. And believe it or not, I was dismissed by the Defense Attorney. She didn't like one of my answers.

But she was wrong.

And in the end, I feel certain I would have found her man innocent. I hope her poor choice didn't send her man to prison... for life.

We were grilled for nearly two hours before final jury selection. I'm not kidding... have you ever heard of such a thing? We got in the room at 1:15 and they did NOT select a jury until 4:40.

And here is the big question that got me X'd off the jury.

If I had a regular person say one thing and a policeman say one thing, would I be more inclined to believe the police officer?

At which point I went toe to toe with her for a couple minutes about what she really wanted to know. I wasn't hostile, just blunt.

And I finally said, "I will look at all the facts. I will look at the FACTS. But if you are talking a 'he said/he said' scenario, where I don't have any facts to go by and I have to choose one, I'm going to pick the person who took the Oath to uphold the Law."


Wrong answer.

At first, nobody dared give the same answer I did. I was the first asked. I was the leper.

But halfway through, people started more and more saying a bit more and finally some guy in the back said, "If you are asking me if I am going to believe a man who took an oath to uphold the law over a felon, then "YES", I am." The man in question was a felon.

She eventually changed the question to, "Do you think a policeman will stretch the truth ever?" and then on to, "Do you think a policeman will lie?"

Those are far different than the question she asked me, to which both answers for me would have been yes.

Every question, I told her it's about the facts.

And as we got more and more information about the case, through our 2 hour grilling, I became more and more sure, that I'd have found him innocent.

From life in Prison.

Where I feel certain he did not belong.

Because if anything, I was so aghast at some implications, the State would not have found him guilty without a shadow of a doubt.

And now I will never know... his fate.

Meanwhile, the weirdest thing that happened:

We were 1.5 hours into the grilling. I mean grilling. And one of the female jurors in the back GOT UP and started to walk out.

The Bailiff freaked, ran after her, commotion in the courtroom, the judge (a woman) yelling, "Wait! You can't leave!"

We're all turned around and the woman is talking to the Bailiff when the judge addressed her, to which the woman responded, "Your Honor, I have to go to the bathroom. We need a break. I am on my period."


So we took a break and everything resumed 10 minutes later like nothing happened...

The title: we got paid $15 and got to watch The Terminal with Tom Hanks as we waited to get called.

Posted by Boudicca at December 1, 2009 10:22 PM

Holy cow! I can't believe she just got up and then said that! I guess the period excuse just isn't for teachers and bosses? Wow!

Posted by: Sissy at December 1, 2009 11:13 PM

Lawyers aren't interested in facts, they're interested in emotions. My sister has never been selected for a jury. She was a software engineer. Lawyers hate engineers, especially female ones.

Posted by: Denny at December 1, 2009 11:30 PM

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for breathing?
A: No.
Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
A: No.
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
A: It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at December 2, 2009 12:43 AM

Denny is spot on.

I am usually the first to be booted from a jury, with the only questions being asked are education and occupation.

Defense lawyers and most prosecution lawyers hate smart, educated women.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at December 2, 2009 09:44 AM

Yeah, about the last thing they want in the courtroom are people who want to look at facts. LOL. I love your response to her questioning. That was excellent.

Sounds like her case is all about "he said/cop said"... *sigh*

Posted by: Teresa at December 2, 2009 11:35 AM

That question has been asked each time I've been called. I've noticed that scientists, engineers, people affiliated with law enforcement and legal/paralegal are thanked and excused.

Then there was the time I was seated and all the people with medical training along with the one-armed man were thanked and excused from a civil case. Seems someone tripped and fell during the mass exodus from a bingo game.

Posted by: cin at December 2, 2009 12:53 PM

Ahh lawyers, gotta love 'em...

Posted by: patti at December 2, 2009 01:57 PM

Keep in mind that the burden of proof in criminal cases is not "beyond the shadow of a doubt" - it is "beyond a reasonable doubt."

I would have answered those questions the same way you did, BTW.

Posted by: Elisson at December 2, 2009 07:38 PM

I would have been the woman in the back having a panic attack for being in an enclosed place with a bunch of people I don't know. I'm a schlep, I know it but it wouldn't have been a period. I would have said I needed to find the straight jacket!

At least you can go back to work... oh, wait, was there a sequel to that movie?

Posted by: Lemon Stand at December 2, 2009 09:05 PM

I saw The Terminal.

ANYONE who sat through that thing should've been paid $15.

Posted by: Harvey at December 4, 2009 09:30 PM