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I am a juror for a criminal trial

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Chrysalis123 posted 4/24/2014 22:41 PM

I was summoned to be on a jury. 100 people showed up and it took 2 days for the attorneys to select the jury. The process for jury selection was really interesting, but involved a lot of waiting around.

The defendant is facing a very, very serious charge. The trial is expected to last 6 or more days. I can't avoid how sad the entire event is for all the families (on both sides) that are involved. I had to stop myself from crying during testimonies a couple of times today. I could tell the other jurors were struggling with the emotions of it all as well.

Being on a jury like this is exhausting. I mean I am bone tired when I leave.

What are your experiences with being on a jury?

BaxtersBFF posted 4/24/2014 22:50 PM

I've been on one, but it was burglary or something like that. The kid was caught on video...showed up to the trial in shorts...didn't go well for him.

Oh, the other kind of sucked because it was two broken people. The guy was being tried for two things, one involving abuse or domestic violence, the other involving a parole violation. We decided guilty on the parole violation. Wish we could have done the same on the first, but it just wasn't possible.

dameia posted 4/24/2014 22:54 PM

I've never been on a jury. 33 years old and never even received a summons. Neither has my H.

OTOH, my best friend in high school got her citizenship when she was 18 (she lived in El Salvador until she was 8). Two weeks later she got a jury summons. And has been summoned 3 times since then!

I know this had nothing to do with your question, I just thought it was interesting.

It sucks that this trial is so hard on you. What are you doing to unwind?

Chrysalis123 posted 4/24/2014 22:58 PM

Taking a nap.

By the time I get home it is about 6PM. So it is a long day for me . We can leave for lunch, but for the rest of the time we are always confined in either the jury box or the juror room.

norabird posted 4/24/2014 23:17 PM

Thank you for your service!

Chrysalis123 posted 4/24/2014 23:21 PM

You are welcome!

Sad in AZ posted 4/24/2014 23:36 PM

I've been called several times but never had to sit. The one time I was supposed to be questioned for a trial, we walked several blocks to the courthouse (in AZ in the summer ) only to be told that the parties had settled.

Back then, I never would have been chosen. The X was a police officer so I'd never get picked for a criminal case, and I was in insurance, so I'd never get picked for a civil case.

Unagie posted 4/24/2014 23:55 PM

I've been called and always got out of it because of school except the last time. It was a car accident between two women. One going to fast and one took the stop sign. Neither was believable but we just went with the factsm

Dreamboat posted 4/25/2014 06:03 AM

I am apparently on some special list in my county because I get called every 2 years like clockwork. Other friends and neighbors often have never been called or only called once.

Anyway, I have served on a jury 2 times. Both times were robbery/burglary where the victims were not injured. We spent a lot of time in the jury room for both cases.

I will tell you that as a juror you will not hear the full story. When you finally get to deliberate you will have a ton of questions about things that you will never get the answer, at least until after the trial is over. That makes coming to a guilty or not guilty verdict very difficult.

tushnurse posted 4/25/2014 08:01 AM

Sorry this is so hard for you.
I am pretty staunch in my political beliefs, and am not hesitant to let them know. For this reason, I am fairly certain I will never be chosen, although my name has been pulled a lot.

stroppy_wanadoo posted 4/25/2014 08:07 AM

I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you. I was once a potential juror for a criminal trial. Ultimately, I was not selected, and I am very glad. It was for a murder case in my area - a former police chief who had killed his wife, dismembered her, and stored her in the garage. His adult children found her when they were looking for Christmas decorations.

I am so glad I did not have to hear details and photos and visit that home. It is not a thought or memory I would want to carry with me.

I am so sorry this is emotional and difficult for you. I think it's an unfair burden to put on innocent people - not jury duty in general, but ones for violent crimes.

StillGoing posted 4/25/2014 08:09 AM

The one time I was called I ended up sitting in the final selection and was one of two people the judge randomly selected for a question on my opinion of something (if I felt our legal system worked; the other guy was asked what his opinion on gun ownership was). Apparently I didn't exactly offend the judge but somehow got into his radar enough that it pretty much started a five minute debate in the court room on the fundamental imperfections of the judicial system and how it can never be a perfect system because it's based on moderating human error, and without human error it isn't necessary, etc. Honestly I thought the judge was a really interesting guy.

Defense struck me immediately for replacement. The other guy said he felt only police and the army should have guns, the judge kind of sputtered, both lawyers wanted him on the jury. I lol'd.

Kajem posted 4/25/2014 08:49 AM

I was picked for medical malpractice, not fun or interesting. Before we were to deliberate,during the lunch break, they settled.

Charity411 posted 4/25/2014 10:16 AM

My sister was on a jury for a murder trial. An 18 year old stabbed both of his parents to death with the help of a school buddy who he promised to pay something like $400. It was extremely difficult for the jury. It was a very gruesome crime scene and they had to watch videos of it for the trial. It didn't help that the trial took place I think between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was extremely depressing for her and she would come home completely exhausted as well, and she couldn't talk about it to anyone.

When the trial was over and he was found guilty, my sister had a get together at her house for the jury and the prosecutors. I was there and it was very interesting. They were all very relieved to be able to talk about it freely and the prosecutors were very interested in what the deciding factors were in their verdict. As I recall the things that clinched it were different from what the prosecutors expected it to be.

Thanks for giving your time to that difficult task.

Aubrie posted 4/25/2014 10:16 AM

I was called a couple months ago. Slip and fall case. Two and a half days of testimony. It just went on and on with a bunch of fluff and minimal evidence. Then I was drawn as alternate right before deliberations.

As boring as some of it was, it was an interesting experience. I'd do it again.

Is it insensitive or weird that I'm secretly jealous you have a legit criminal case? It fascinates me.

Hope it goes quickly for you Chrysalis.

TrulyReconciled posted 4/25/2014 11:07 AM

I've done it and had a great experience. It's a privilege, not a burden.

TheThreeYearFool posted 4/25/2014 11:12 AM

I got selected as a juror for a criminal case 4 or 5 years ago. At the time I thought it would be an interesting experience.

It was brutal and I have no desire to repeat it. I sat on the jury for a first degree murder trial. A senseless broad daylight shooting over a stupid dispute.

Everything about it was so emotionally draining. The pain of the victim's family, the youth of the defendant, the pain of HIS family facing the prospect of losing him to prison for decades or forever.

As much as I felt the defendant's guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt, it was still wrenching to declare him guilty of first degree murder. I couldn't meet his eyes at all when the verdict was announced.

I was actually on call for jury duty as soon as I was eligible again, the month D Day happened. Thankfully I didn't get called in or else a courtroom of perfect strangers would have seen me break down.

marchmadness posted 4/25/2014 11:24 AM

I served several years ago. It was a rape case that resulted from a consensual act which involved a girl too young to legally consent (13) and an 18 year old male. It was extremely unpleasant and emotional. From a legal standpoint it was clear cut but it was still a difficult deliberation.

broken2 posted 4/25/2014 11:27 AM

I served as a juror a few years ago. It was a difficult case to listen to. It was a father that sexually abused his own daughter.

The young lady took the stand and all of us jurors had a very difficult time listening to the horrid and disgust she was describing. The trial lasted for two days. I was not allowed to discuss it with anyone, nor was I allowed to watch the news or read the newspaper that first night at home. My family could see I was distraught.

The second day we found the scum guilty on 16 charges. I could feel myself starting to break down in the courtroom, but held it together. Once dismissed I got into my car and began to drive home. I sobbed and prayed for this young lady. I could not believe what all this young lady had endured by the one man that should have done everything to protect her innocence not take it from her.

As hard as it was on me, I was very happy to get this scum off the street (he is going to serve time for quite a while). I think of this young lady often and pray that she is getting the help that she needs to be able to move forward in her young life. I would serve again in a heartbeat. I consider this my duty as a US citizen.

Mack9512 posted 4/25/2014 12:03 PM

I get called every 2 years, without fail, and with the exception of the last time I was called, got placed on a jury every time. Apparently I have a juror type face

I was on a pretty famous murder trial here on the East Coast. A young man killed his family and then went on a rampage. The trial was 3 days a week for 8 months. The absolute worse was sitting for hours on end without relief. My back has never recovered. Actually getting harassed by my place of employment for being out so much was probably the worse. The Court sent a very strongly worded letter to my employer reminding them of the laws in place to project jurors. My manager was an ass but wanted everyone to think he was this easygoing type of guy. I invented the word 'jackasstafarin' just for him.

I was able to get out of the last attempt to put me on the jury for another murder trial because my cousin was just appointed Attorney General of the state. Probably the only time I was willing to publicly and loudly admit that he was my cousin.

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