12 People, 1 Purpose, Justice 4 All



I was going to write a series of posts detailing the rape trial that I was a juror on this week, but Anne who is way wiser about all things than I, advised against it. Those readers who know both Anne and I, know that this is true. Those readers, who are not personally acquainted with us, will just have to take her word for this. Per her advice, I shall offer you an abbreviated and highly sanitized recounting of the trial.

The trial began immediately after the seating and swearing of the jury. This was on Tuesday afternoon. The prosecution called two witnesses, the alleged victim and the arresting detective. Beyond testimony, only one piece of evidence was entered, a recording of the defendant’s interrogation. Wednesday was consumed with watching this four and half hour DVD and hearing the defendant’s confession.

On Thursday, both sides rested and then made their closing arguments. We began deliberations by mid-morning. The bailiff locked us in the jury room. Per our instructions, we elected a foreman. She and another juror read the jury instructions. We were now ready to deliberate.

I was nervous going in, but the jury deliberations turned out to be quite amicable. We quickly reached agreement on not guilty. We all had problems with the alleged victim’s story, the chronology of the case and most importantly with the truthfulness of the confession.

I went back to work on Friday. One co-worker asked me, did I really think that the defendant was innocent or was there just not enough evidence to convict him? His question echoed the central point of the prosecution’s case, “something happened”. I still don’t know, if I agree with this assertion, but “something” is too vague a thing to hang a man’s life on. There was not enough evidence to convict.

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