Friday, February 18, 2011


It's been a joke until now, my streak is over.  Since moving here I have received back to back jury summons' but never needed to appear.  I finally had to report and this time I actually did have a medical reason not to appear(still in physical therapy for my foot) but wanted to be called so I could just get this over with.  So, I never got called as a perspective juror but had to sit there while the defense attorneys whittled down the panel.  The ADA looked pleased most of the time.

So one of their questions, worded several different ways was, "Do you believe my(our) client(s) are innocent until proven guilty?".  I would have to answer no.  See the thing is, we're not allowed to slap a guilty on their clients until the DA proves they're guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, right?  So, I can't slap an Innocent label on them either.  SOMETHING is going on, and isn't it our job(if called upon) to figure out if anything is going on?  Right?  Am I wrong?  I'm not saying they're guilty, but aren't they in a "limbo" kind of state, it's 50/50.  I can agree to that, but "innocent" right off?  No.  Can't do it.

As far as ethical/moral/"defense wouldn't want me" reasons why I can't...Here's the deal.  Since my grandfather was murdered almost 21 years ago in an unsolved homicide case, I've kept close ties with the law enforcement community.  I speak to them one on one annually and I have the utmost respect for them.  I do believe the law enforcement that I have had contact with(barring one show off pompus police officer who ticketed me for something I didn't do and was later fired) all have incredible integrity.  I WOULD believe them over some young adults charged with making some stupid decisions.  So, yeah, if those were your children at the defense table, I wouldn't want ME on the jury panel.  It all could have saved me several hours that day.  But, we all had to sit there patiently in the court room, as well as a dozen or so in the overflow back across the street in the Assembly Room.  And our county in concerned with the perspective jury pool.  Don't over summons all of us then!

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