Friday, April 23, 2010

Jury Pickin'

The courtroom proved to be very interesting yesterday, although I did not get picked for the jury. I did have time to do some sketching and some crocheting. The clerk (pictured here looking bored) pulled 27 names out of a hat, but my name must have been at the bottom of the barrel. As some jurors were dismissed, the clerk pulled out more names, but I remained a spectator. Apparently it is the law that we all stay in the courtroom until the jury is selected and agreed upon. It was an interesting process. The case was a felony that had to do with drugs and robbery – what else is new?

I was not particularly impressed with any of the lawyers present – guess I have been watching too much TV. The District Attorney’s two young lawyers were beautiful, young ladies – could have been actresses, but not very good ones. The defendant’s attorney was, well, interesting in a sloppy sort of way. I thought all the attorneys’ questions repetitious and boring, as were their responses to the juror’s answers. It seemed they were just going through the motions and wasting time. I'm pretty sure they already knew which five they were "getting rid of" when the judge asked his questions. Fortunately, I sat with some ladies who giggled at my comments and made comments of their own throughout the process. I will probably get kicked out if I keep this up, but it is so stinkin’ funny sometimes. Like when the prospective jurors were asked if anyone had ever been robbed - a few hands went up. The first lady said her home had been robbed when she was a little girl. "Were you in the house at the time of the robbery?" asked the judge. "No, we were at church." "Was the robber ever caught?" asked the judge. "No." responded the lady. Then the next lady said her home had also been robbed when she was a little girl, and she too had been at church at the time of the robbery and the robber had never been caught. I looked at my neighbor and said, "I think it was the same robber!"

When asked if anyone knew someone, who had been arrested for drugs or had had a drug problem, I thought in this day and age every hand would go up. But then, maybe I just lived in Northern New Mexico where drugs and dealers were rampant. How would I have explained that or my lackadaisical attitude about such things to a judge? The judge also asked if there were anyone who felt the laws concerning prescription drugs were too strict. I probably would have said, "Yes! I want to be able to buy my allergy medicine without signing my life away or having cashiers treat me like a meth-maker." Okay, I would probably have been dismissed – ‘cause I can’t keep my mouth shut.

There were several people on the jury and in the jury pool that every time they opened their mouth, my new friends or I would give the sign to dismiss them – a "hit the road" sign, but only were we could see it. Like the lady who when asked if anyone knew the people involved in the case or other jury members, she knew the defendant, his mother, his grandmother, many of the prospective jurors and was related to some too. Her husband had once been robbed, she had a child who had been a cashier, she knew people who had done drugs, etc, but she was sure she could make an impartial decision concerning the case. She was eventually dismissed, as were most of the people who opened their mouths often, but it was a lengthy process. A little after noon, we were all dismissed for lunch with everyone free to go, but the 12 jurors and alternate had to come back after lunch. We all have to call in on Sunday and possibly come back on Monday. The Diva’s Daughter was picked for the actual jury. I will try to find out the outcome of the case from her later.


joyce said...

I think that is why I did not get on the jury last time---I asked tooooo many questions, and opened my mouth toooo much. they kept referring to the perp as a number, and us by name. I stated it should be the other way 'round. Why should the perp be given jury members names!

Buck said...

"Yes! I want to be able to buy my allergy medicine without signing my life away or having cashiers treat me like a meth-maker."

Ain't THAT the truth! It's the same with cold/flu drugs that actually work. I know meth is a serious problem but I think the gub'mint could have taken another approach to solving the problem. But, as usual, the great majority suffer for the sins of the few.

I'd never be picked as a juror in a drug case if I told the truth about my opinion on drug laws... ALL drug laws.

Nice sketches. A second career, perhaps? ;-)

Bag Blog said...

I know how you feel about drug laws. I have mixed feelings, myself. But I do have compassion.

And yes, I would love to be a courtroom artist. How cool would that be!

Joyce, I can just see you in a courtroom. I bet the two of us could get kicked out for sure.

joyce said...

You could be a courtroom sketch artist! I was just thinking the same thing!

And I have a friend who asks even more questions than I do...can you imagine the three of us! yes, we'd get expunged for sure!

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AirmanMom said...

I am certain that between you and Joyce...the State and the Defense will be screaming, "U-N-C-L-E"
love ya both!

Dinah Bee Menil said...

Nice site, very informative. I like to read this.,it is very helpful in my part for my criminal law studies.

Jo Castillo said...

I enjoyed reading your days in court. Nice sketches. I like your paintings, from Thursday 22 as well.

I thought we would never be chosen for jury duty. I was called when in Austin on vacation from South America and had to serve for a civil trial.

Then a couple of years ago they had Gene serve on a murder trial. The guy would have got off or very little time if Gene hadn't been the head of the jury. The murderer was drunk and said he was going to kill the next xc?%$ that walked through the door. And, he did. One lady said he should be rehabilitated and kept crying. Then as it got near 6 p.m., she looked at her watch and had to go to soccer practice so voted guilty. Goofy souls!

Bag Blog said...

I can't imagine any lawyer in his right mind putting Gene on a jury - he would be way tough.