Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Back ...

... after spending a few days running around like a headless chicken trying to catch up. At one point I was harried enough to have my polo shirt on wrong side out for hours, only noticing that something was amiss when I kept trying to put my pen into the pocket that was on the inside and inaccessible.

Part of the reason for running around like mad was that I was indeed selected for the jury and so needed to make up some time. However my record remains perfect - I have never entered jury deliberations. Every time I have been seated on a jury, the defendant has decided to plead guilty. In close to 40 years of jury eligibility, I have been called for jury duty somewhere on the order of 25 times and have actually been empaneled on the jury 3 times now.  In all three of those cases, the defendant has decided to plead guilty before the end of the trial. In two of the cases, it was within minutes of the the start of the trial.

This time the plea came in the second day of testimony when the defendant suddenly took a plea bargain. I understood why he did so. He was up for three counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and had prior felonies - thus he faced the possibility of 63 years with no possibility of parole if convicted. But the DA had no choice but to offer a misdemeanor assault plea and a year of jail after the star witness suddenly lost his mind and memory on the stand. It  wasn't overly surprising that he did so since he was the victim of the assault and also the brother of the defendant. I think that he had second thoughts about being the one to send his brother away for that long. So after a day of gory medical testimony featuring the bashed in skull and broken jaw and teeth of the victim and then another half day of the disaster that was testimony for the prosecution (3 of 29 scheduled witnesses), the DA and the defense came to the plea agreement and we were excused.

I'll leave you with the following question: what are the holidays like in a family where the brothers practice deadly assault on one another with a rock, avoiding murder by about a sixteenth of an inch according to the medical testimony? Would they trust each other enough to let the other carve the turkey?

On a completely non-factual basis, I think the whole thing was triggered by a monetary tiff over the proceeds of a drug deal gone wrong. Absolutely no evidence presented to support that thought, but it sure seemed that that was what was going on.

Sometime before I die, I hope to finally reach the deliberation stage of a trial. After all, I figure that I must look really mean to induce all those people to plead guilty. {*grin*}

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, that is quite a case you got selected for! I think that's one of the things I always wanted to experience. Being able to see a real court room and being able to witness all that drama, it sounds pretty interesting to me.

    Now about your question....In my opinion, people with family issues like that probably don't spend the holidays together. In fact, they might not even celebrate at all. It's probably just another day for them.


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