The Jury Duty Experience PT 3

I can’t believe I forgot to mention the closing arguments in PT 2.

The Prosecutor had a power point presentation and spent a lot of time on the definition of the various charges as well as reminding us what evidence proved those charges to be accurate. It seemed pretty open and shut to me. 

Unfortunately, Defendant #1’s attorney wasn’t done with his theatrics. He proceeded to pretend that he was the 2nd Defendant and act out the day. He pretend to be driving the car where some drugs were found. He pretended to get a message from one of the other 2 men found in the house. He pretended to run from the cops and to throw his pretend drugs around the room. Even his client covered his face and shook his head at the display. To me it just made me feel like the Defense wasn’t taking anything seriously. 

The second Defense Attorney made much less of a spectical. However he implied that in his so many years of working for both the Prosecutor and the Defense, he’d never been on trial with another Defendant that he was trying to prove to be the guilty party. He stated that they were helping along the Prosecutor. She disagreed. 

We were then given our rules and sent back to deliberate. 

Within a few moments, we elected the one juror as our foreman, and I was elected to take notes and polls on the white board. We ran through all 10 charges and took a quick vote just to see where we would agree. I think by the time we were released that day, we had come to unanimous decisions on 2 charges. 

Friday was more difficult. We were struggling with the definition of “Right to Control” which was one of the elements in the definition of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Every one kept bringing up scenarios and disagreeing on just about everything. You could tell a few of us had reached our exhausted points and it was just getting too loud and everyone was talking over one another. At the end of the day, I reminded the group that we were not speaking about random objects, like coats and wallets, but only Controlled Substances. We all agreed to let it go for the day. We would think about it over the weekend and come back to it Monday morning. No one wanted a hung jury, but I think a few of the jurors in the minority were starting to see it as an end result. 

Monday morning we were advised right away that we were not to deliberate until they told us to. So we sat having small talk and coffee. At some point, the clerk came down and got juror 7. She was the juror who works in the court house for a contract company. She had been one of the few in the minority who felt there was to much doubt for any of the charges of possession to be guilty. I was starting to wonder if they were going to replace her with the alternate. 

Soon they came for our foreman. And then surprisingly they came for juror 10. It was after she left, that I learned from another juror that 7 had asked an attorney either for the definition of right to control, or had asked if she was allowed to look it up. He told her no, and that either could result in a mistrial. 7 apparently told 10 when she got in that morning that her notes she had taken over the weekend shouldn’t be used. 

I still don’t know how exactly the courts found out. Soon we were all called into the court room and told by the judge that she was declaring it a mistrial. We were all pretty bummed but I think also relieved. She reminded us that should we ever end up on another jury, we needed to respect the court and only consider information that was presented during trial and told to us by the judge. 

Overall it was an interesting experience. I wouldn’t mind doing it again. At least now I would have a better expectation. I’m still slightly bummed our 6 days didn’t pan out into anything good. I’m hoping they will be retried and the next jury will be able to convict them. 

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One thought on “The Jury Duty Experience PT 3

  1. Hey cousin, I had a similar experience in Ann Arbor. 1 juror didn’t get the instructions the judge gave us and it resulted in a hung jury. We all walked out of there with the desire to jump the guy in the parking lot (obviously we didn’t). But I liked the opportunity to serve. On another up here in Grand Traverse County I got on a jury but the defendant ended up pleading so we never got to hear the case. I wondered why I keep getting summons but I bet it’s cuz I’m a woman of a certain race & background

    Like

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