Monday, February 19, 2007

Jury Duty

Well here I am saying goodbye to Rebecca as I'm off for Jury Duty! I received a letter before Christmas saying to report for jury selection. When I went in the beginning of January there were about 300 people there for 2 juries.......needless to say I figured I was heading home. Well I was called up in the first 20 people and was then selected to be Juror #4. It took them at least 80 people to come up with 12 jurors. So many couldn't do it financially and then quite a few others were challenged by the lawyers. It was a first degree murder trial that was supposed to last 5 weeks but was only 4. It was amazing, interesting, grueling and so hard. It was like being in another world for that month. It was also like taking crash courses in drugs, guns, ammunition, blood splattering and in police work. I learned a lot about our legal system and how amazingly thorough the police try to be when building a case! We started on January 10 and then after listening to 20 witnesses, the Crown finished its case on February 7. We were then sequestered for 2 days before we finally came in with a verdict. The accused was convicted of 2nd degree murder........and you would not believe how hard it was to come to that conclusion! With 12 people, with all different backgrounds it was just talking and talking and talking. We had to keep taking little breaks because we would get so physically, mentally and emotionally tired. We started at around 4 on Wednesday, went to the hotel that night, then we were back at it again on Thursday at 9 in the morning until 10 that night, to the hotel again.....then back to the jury room Friday the 9th and finally, made a decision at about 1:30 that afternoon. They had to reconvene the whole courtroom where our foreman declared the verdict and we all had to stand to indicate it was unanimous.
It was so much harder than I thought it was going to be, we were all so tired and knowing you were putting a man in jail for years was tough emotionally. Have to admit, I came home and crashed the day we were finished! I was also pretty impressed with my fellow jurors, they really took the whole trial seriously and were fun to work with. You really get to know each other as you spend so much time together and I miss them now. The hardest part for me also is that they are really strict about jury confidentiality. Anything we talk about during our deliberations can't be repeated and its actually against the law to do so. Although my family was curious, I couldn't say much. At first they were pretty excited that I was picked to be a juror, but I think it took its toll! I was so rushed all the time, gone all day, rush home for supper and then most nights was gone again with all the kids activities. So as you can imagine I am sure glad to be home! Apparently I can't be called again for 2 years, thank goodness, but I wouldn't have missed this experience even though it was really hard. Learned so much............

1 comment:

Emily said...

Wow!! What an experience! Well, I guess I can forgive you for not blogging then :p
Hope to see more posts! :)


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