I stopped at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast & grabbed a 6 inch roast beef sub for lunch. I had a feeling it was going to be a loooong day. IT WAS! I sat in the jurors' room for and hour or 2 as they called the red group and the green group and the blue group and the purple group. 3 civil cases that weren't ready to question the jury and one civil case that needed their jurors immediately. 5 people on my row alone had been called already. I thought that had lessened my chances... it had not. The announcement came that there was a CRIMINAL case that was ready for selection IMMEDIATELY and they were calling in 56 people. I sighed heavily & packed up my things. I somehow just KNEW I was going to be called. Sure enough I was #9. UGH!
I headed into the courtroom and knew this was going to be a doozie. I tried to answer the questions they asked TRUTHFULLY. But I should've been like the ornery woman that worked for Postal Police. For every question she had a yes for the follow-up question was always: Will this hinder your ability to make a fair decision in this case... to which she gave a resounding YES! FREAKING INGENIOUS! Had I done the same this blog would be about how much MORE money I spent in the grocery store AND the Target because I had so much time on my hands. But I did not & it is not. Instead I ended up with 3 black men, 2 older white women & 8 black women of varying ages as a jury of peers for an 18-23 year old male.
I was chosen in a narcotics case. Hurrah. The defendant was wearing glasses. I was not fooled. I had just heard a report that said defendants wearing glasses are more likely to be found "Not Guilty". They gave us some instructions & dismissed us to lunch. When we returned, the inexperienced State's Attorney gave her opening statement. Then the d-bag defendant's attorney gave his opening statement. And they called their first witness. It was a detective that was there the night the drug house they found the defendant in was served with a search warrant. The attorney's inexperience showed. But what took the cake was when the defending attorney POUNCED on the witness. He was SUCH a jerk it made it uncomfortable for everyone including the judge. It was beyond aggravating to see him try so hard to poke holes in an already swiss cheesy case. He kept trying to trip the detective up, which I understand is a lawyer's job. But the forcefulness & the the manner in which he went about it wasn't necessary. Especially in THIS case because the state's case was SOOOO thin. Eventually the detective said he was familiar with attorney's methods. RED FLAG RED FLAG!
At that point, the judge called the attorneys to the bench & ordered the jury out of the courtroom. As we sat in the jury room. We discussed what had gone on so far & all pretty much concluded the same things. Then as we realized we had been in the room for quite some time. We started speculating on what was taking so long. Most thought they were trying to convince the state to drop the case. After about 30 minutes to 6 hours... I'm not sure because I didn't have a watch, the bailiff says the judge wants to talk to us. That is when he came in & informed us of 4 things:
- The state's attorney was indeed new.
- The defending attorney was VERY experienced in defending against narcotics charges (in fact he was NOTORIOUS for it)
- The defendant pleaded guilty.
- The defendant was already in jail for other drug-related charges.
And just now as I was typing this, I realized that they asked if anyone knew any of the parties involved & one guy appeared to know the defending attorney.... Hmmmmmmmmm... I wonder how.
WELP, the good news is I got to go to my fave grocery store when it was EMPTY & I don't have to serve for the next 3 years! Woop Woop!