Wednesday, June 20, 2012

And now we resume our normally scheduled program...

Yesterday at 3pm, me and my fellow 11 jurors, handed the judge our verdict...
Guilty of 1st degree murder.
It took us approximately 5 hours of deliberation to come up with the verdict.  Using evidence we received over a period of 8 day and the laws of the case as received from the judge, that was the decision all 12 of us came up with.

After the verdict was read in the courtroom, which seemed to contain more people in the audience than it did during the preceedings, several of the defendant's friends/family members ran out screaming. Many stayed seated in side crying and bawling.

Over the period of 3 weeks, court was in session for 9 days. During those 9 days:
  • June 4 & 5 - Jury Selection. I was selected at the end of the second day. It was nerve wracking to sit in the audience with a pool of jurors that started out with 120 people. Between excusals and those who didn't meet the criteria of the lawyers, the pool shrunk. At that time, the only thought I had in my mind was - "Don't pick me!" However, I had the feeling ever since I stepped into the court room that I was going to be apart of this experience
  • June 6 - Opening Arguements
  • June 7, 11, 12, 13 - Testimony. Expert witnesses spoke about guns, bullets, the autopsy findings. Witnesses from the neighborhood unwillinging shared a little, but not much, insight on the young man on trial and the victim of the shooting. We listened to video statements of the defendant describing the crime...a video that took over 3 hours. We listened to phone conversations between the defendant and family.
  • June 18 - Closing Arguements and the reading of the law that pertained to this case.
  • June 19 - Deliberation and the verdict
The was very interesting, educational and in someways well as overwhelming, emotional and draining. For 7 days (post jury selection) I felt like I "lived" with 11-14 other people. During all but the last day, there were 15 of us - 12 jurors and 3 alternates - the alternates were excused from the deliberations. During the trial, we would file in to the courtroom together and file out together. We would meet up in our special Jury Deliberation room daily - when we arrived, for our morning break, lunch break and afternoon break. We had our own private bathroom, refrigerator and coffee pot. We got to know each other during this period.

Prior to the offical deliberation that took place yesterday, we were not able to discuss the case. We took an oath of silence that not only included all our friends and family members, but also the fellow jurors . Once the case was ours to discuss yesterday, it was like a dam opened up. We all needed to talk, to talk to eachother. Not only because it was our job to discuss at that time, but keeping all the information and feelings to oneself for that period of time is difficult, so once we were given the "GO" to discuss, everyone was happy and ready to talk, discuss and share.

As much as I didn't want to be selected; as much as I dreaded the challenge of organizing carpools for the boys - leaning on friends and neighbors to get them to the hockey rink; as much challenge this caused for DH and I with regards to staffing/managing our two was a wonderful experience. However, I thought I would have felt more of a YAHOO! when I was done with jury duty once the verdict was read but I feel more a sense of loss, of "coming down". Between the bond created with my fellow jurors and the reaction in the court when the verdict was read, I just feel like something is now missing. I am sure it was take a couple of days to get over...

In the meantime, it is time to jump back into the routine of my household. To take more of a role in the carpooling of my boys and the neighbors and the friends down to the rink for the hockey camps we are involve in. It is time to enter back into our stores and work with our wonderful employee by cutting fruit, dipping strawberries & bananas in chocolate and creating the beautiful fruit arrangements we make.

And it is time to continue putting more stitches into my Mary Wigham sampler which hasn't seen daylight since August 2010. Last week, Mary came out of the closet and joined me in the jury room where I added a few more motifs. Here is a status photo of it (sorry for all the wrinkles):

Well, I can't get this photo to behave itself and turn...but with the help of the round hoop marks, the place where I have stitched it more evident. In the photo, it is near the bottom. Anyway, sorry about that...just wanted to get a status photo posted and really don't have the patience this morning to deal with figuring things out.

Well, I have kept you long enough. Thank you for visiting and thank you all for the very nice comments on my Family Sampler finish from the last post.

Take care and remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often


valerie said...

Good for you for digging Mary out of the closet! I am still on part 5! How interesting to be part of a jury. I am sure it was tough on you and the family but how cool to be a part of justice!

Janet said...

I do hope you were offered some type of debriefing after the trial ended. Sometimes hearing and seeing all that "stuff" can be hard emotionally. I sat on a sexual assault trial many years ago. Things are a bit different here in Canada, but basically the same. However we found the defendant "not guilty", not because any of us thought he didn't do it, but because they just didn't present evidence to show he did. The "victim" was a 14 or 15 year old girl who was very hostile on the stand and really didn't say what had happened to her. I don't think she had any support.

DaisyGirl said...

I've never been called for jury duty, my husband and my son have been called, but I've escaped so far! John was in for only 2 weeks. Glad you are back to normal now and ready to get back to hockey! :)