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Author Topic: Jury Duty?
Lonny
PANTS ON THE GROUND
Member # 19

Icon 1 posted January 26, 2019 06:47 AM      Profile for Lonny           Edit/Delete Post 
Have you ever been picked to serve on a jury?

I've been called in twice over the past 25 years, but never picked.

I got called in last Thursday and was actually hoping to make the cut, but they only took 6 of the 25 people called in. It was a misdemeanor trial and supposedly they only need 6 people.

How did your jury duty service turn out?

[ January 26, 2019, 06:47 AM: Message edited by: Lonny ]

Posts: 1193 | From: Lewiston, Idaho USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cdog911
"There are some ideas so absurd only an intellectual could believe them."--George Orwell.
Member # 7

Icon 1 posted January 26, 2019 04:58 PM      Profile for Cdog911   Author's Homepage   Email Cdog911         Edit/Delete Post 
Have been called for jury duty many times. Never made the cut because of my name and the fact that relatives were often on the posse that affected the arrest.

IMO, and aside from the fact that our system isn't perfect but it's better than most, I personally think the current system has onerous flaws. For one thing, even a mediocre prosecuting attorney can buffalo the average juror by baffling them with so much bullshit that they simply get lost in the fog.

If I were King for a Day, I would require that a juror have at least a certain minimum education to serve, and have some personal experience with either the subject matter surrounding the offense, or be able to understand the minutia of the evidence being submitted.

I hearken back to my wife's arrest and subsequent conviction for attempted prescription fraud. Initially she was arrested simply on probable cause, at the subjective discretion of the senior officer who took the report. The only evidence they had to support their actions was that she had gone to an urgent care clinic, then to a pharmacy. At the pharmacy, the pharmacy technician noticed an inconsistency with the RX my wife gave them. She called the clinic to clarify and a second, more serious issue was identified. The second issue concerned an entry on the form that the PA claims he did not write, so going off that and that alone, they came to a specialist to whom we had been referred the next morning to arrest her, using information that she had given the PA, and which he relayed to the LEO's.

Again, all they had was her admission that she had been at the clinic, and that she then went to the pharmacy to have the prescription written by the PA filled. They made no attempt to subpoena a hand-writing sample to compare the writing on the script with my wife's. And they had no opportunity to interview her to any length to gather any additional information. The original charges were for forgery (felony) and attempted rx fraud (misdemeanor). The felony forgery charge was dropped prior to arraignment.

The trial was a one-day affair. The jury was selected and it was everyone's assumption (ass-you-me) that we'd be in an out in a matter of a few hours. In reality, the trial took all day and the jury began deliberations at about 5 in the evening. After deliberating, they returned a guilty verdict.

Now, here's where the system failed. I was the last witness to testify. I wasn't allowed in the courtroom, but my mother-in-law, a career paralegal, was and she kept me informed of happenings at every recess/ break.

When testimony had concluded, it came time for closing arguments. The State chose to divide their closing remarks into two parts so he could offer a rebuttal to anything our attorney said. His initial remarks were pretty much straight up and unremarkable. Our attorney attempted to shed light on the fact that they really had no evidence that demonstrated that my wife had written anything on the rx sheet and that everything entered into evidence was circumstantial. In his rebuttal - which took all of five minutes - the prosecutor made the statement that, "You on the jury need to understand and remember that the defendant has provided no evidence that she did NOT commit the crime for which she is charged". Our hands were tied. Our attorney couldn't say anything about what we had just seen.

My jaw dropped. I looked at the Judge and he was glaring at the prosecutor in disbelief. No one on the jury gave any indication that they saw a problem with what this guy had just done.

Again, an hour later, my wife is found guilty of a crime she did not commit.

The Judge asked both attorneys if they had any objections to going straight to sentencing, to which both relied "no". Then, something unusual happened.

The Judge paused for a few moments, looked at my wife's attorney and said, "Does the defense want to consider delaying sentencing in order to consider what just happened here today?" to which our attorney said, "Yes, your honor, we would." I can recall every syllable like it just happened. The Judge gave us three weeks.

The next day, I went to a man I knew at the time who was a retired Law Professor from UC-Berley and told him what had happened. He replied to me that he didn't know how things work in Kansas, but in California, that's called "improper shifting of burden of proof to upon the defense" and is punishable by disbarment if, after being investigated, is found to have happened.

Our attorney offered three motions to dismiss the verdict, one of which was for the aforementioned offense. The Judge denied all three. For her sentence, he told her, Thirty days in jail, six months unsupervised probation, and $165 court costs". No fines. Then he said, "If you can pay the court costs today and I see the receipt showing that you have done so, everything else goes away". We went to recess, crossed the hall, paid the $165 and that was that.

No sooner were we out the door than our attorney turned to me and asks me, "What the hell just happened?" I was incredulous. I couldn't believe he didn't see the way things went down. I told him that, to me, it was clear. While were were using the three weeks to draft our dismissal motions, that Judge had called the County Attorney for whom this prosecutor had worked and likely told him that this guy would never, ever pull that kind of shit in his courtroom ever again. He likely reminded her that, had he accepted even one of our three motions and overturned that verdict, every single conviction that this particular assistant county attorney was part of would very quickly come under scrutiny which would have been a major shit show for everyone involved. By denying our motions, he saved the County Attorney that embarrassment, and acted in such a way as to let my wife go with less than a slap on the wrist.

Not so much.

Prior to this, my wife was a nationally certified pharmacy tech. This experience and her conviction cost her her career and license. She wasn't able to find any employment after this, up to the time when the original medical issue that caused her the pain she was being treated for got to the point where she could no longer work. We lost any income she could have earned from that point going forward.

Four years ago, she filed for disability because all of her doctors agreed that she is no longer able to sit, stand, or use her hands and arms sufficiently enough to maintain gainful employment. Social Security got her medical records and the Administrative Judge that ultimately denied her disability cited her arrest and conviction seven different times in his ruling, overriding and ignoring any submissions by her actual doctors.

That is income denied.

I recently had one of my financial advisors crunch the numbers to determine what amount this entire debacle has cost our family, from actual money spent in her defense, loss of income, loss of disability benefits both in the past and going forward, including how much those dollars would have generated in retirement income down the road. She told me that her conservative estimate was between $185-225,000.

As it turns out, the entire shit show happened because the PA's supervising physician is a doctor I'd had a run in with over something he did to my daughter at their clinic. He saw an opportunity and exploited it. And we lost.

I've watched this guy ever since. Every time he gets a job doctoring, I contact his new employer and send them copies of important documents relative to what happened. I've got him to the point where the only gigs he has is a part-time job at one of three clinics not affiliated with the one he worked in when we first met, and part-time at a local VA clinic. No other practice in the area will touch him with a ten foot pole. I plan to haunt that mother fucker for the rest of his or my life.

As to the prosecutor, he was dismissed two weeks after my wife's sentencing and hanged a shingle as a public defender at about half what he was making before. I see that fat sonofabitch at least once a week in our courthouse when I'm delivering mail. He kinda recognizes me but can't quite place me. If he ever gives me an opening to change his life further, I will.

4949, Arky Joe, and a local retired officer were all kind enough to review all the evidence we had been given against my wife from discovery. All three agreed that there was not sufficient evidence to support a probable cause arrest and that the officers should have taken the report and submitted it to the County Attorney to see if if there was sufficient evidence to request a warrant. One of them told me that she would, at the very least, contacted my wife and requested that she come in for further questioning, voluntarily, to clarify exactly what had happened. None of that was even considered.

The same County Attorney that railroaded my wife is now under scrutiny for threatening a guy that had been as taking part in a violent murder where a local woman was beaten to death with a log chain resulting from a drug deal gone bad. He insisted he was not there, they had no evidence to place him at the scene, and threatened him with piling on additional charges if he didn't turn evidence on another individual. He refused, they trumped up a bunch of shit, and that man is now sitting in a Kansas prison for the rest of his life. Except, the guy that actually killed the woman wrote out a confession that he was the killer and that the other guy wasn't even there, then took his own life in prison.

I wholly expect to offer up our experience to the counsel going after this prosecutor to help them demonstrate that she has been doing this shit at every level without regard for the truth for years.

Jury duty is a fucking joke. If I were to judged by a jury, I would certainly hope that they're able to round up a better pool of prospective jurors than the rubes and ass hats that judged my wife.

As you can tell, it still pisses me off like you would not believe.

[ January 26, 2019, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: Cdog911 ]

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"It is not the critic that counts; but the man in the arena; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end of triumph of high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." T. Roosevelt.

Posts: 5117 | From: east of Great Falls | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
earthwalker
Cultural Editor & middleweight arm wrestling champion/Intermountain Region
Member # 4177

Icon 1 posted January 26, 2019 06:40 PM      Profile for earthwalker           Edit/Delete Post 
I've been called in several times and have to drive a long ways to go.
I've served once and that was enough.

Last year I had to fill out another jury questions list.
On one they asked are you a resident of the county and I said not for much longer and I'm getting out of this F--king county. I wasn't chosen to serve.

I'm not sure how this new county works but will probably find out one of these days.

--------------------
You are never lost if you don't care where you're at.

Send rain and snow please! Send Lots of RAIN!
No lightning please

Posts: 479 | From: Intermountain region | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged
DiYi
Wears wife's pink panties under his camo for good luck. (yeah, right!)
Member # 3785

Icon 1 posted January 27, 2019 04:39 AM      Profile for DiYi           Edit/Delete Post 
Wow,Cdog consider some anger management.Seriously.
Note you started out with a basically the system is good to a 'fucking joke' ending.When everyone on the other side,cops to lawyers to judges to jurors are wrong and 'rubes and asshats' it's time to look in the mirror.
Those rubes and asshats are members of your community that didn't buy your story.Period.

Posts: 585 | From: SoDak | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Leonard
HMFIC
Member # 2

Icon 1 posted January 27, 2019 07:16 AM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
Seems like this has been discussed before, Lance? I really don't know where to start? You've been dealt a shit sandwich and I hope everything's getting better for you? Seems like you have related a complicated story about your son on these pages, as well....I think? Pretty soon, those asshats will probably decide that you have no business possessing firearms, then what?

Anyway, jury duty. For many years, being a law-abiding citizen, I showed up, even though I wasn't paid by my employer strictly for jury duty, but could claim a sick day or vacation day, etc. Hardly ever got called but I did make it into the selection process a couple of times and promptly dismissed, by the defense, both times. Then there was the time I actually sat on a jury, almost all day and when we returned from a break, we were dismissed, case was declared a mistrial. Apparently, one of the witnesses said something he shouldn't have? It was a police sting on a massage parlor. The cop had all his photographed and documented $100 dollar bills, for the evidence and he used one to pay for the massage and given $70 change, all legal stuff. Then the dummy used that change to pay for a BJ and there went the documenting of the cash. It was a strictly amateurish sting operation and I imagine that half or three quarter day trial cost the state thousands for 3 different interpreters and prosecutors and the appointed defense lawyers. It was a clown show all the way. We had to leave all our notes on the chair and were dismissed. I was juror #2. So, after so many years of not being called, (and I wanted to serve) because the court system interests me, I thereafter made up my mind that, fuck this shit, I'm not responding any more.

Well, then I was told that nobody over age 70 is obligated to serve on a jury. However, the notices have kept on coming. As luck would have it, I have a summons for jury duty right now, on the 31st, in 4 days. I'm going to ignore it and, I promise; the SWAT TEAM will never take me alive!

Good hunting. El Bee

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EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 26125 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cdog911
"There are some ideas so absurd only an intellectual could believe them."--George Orwell.
Member # 7

Icon 1 posted January 27, 2019 07:47 AM      Profile for Cdog911   Author's Homepage   Email Cdog911         Edit/Delete Post 
This isn't California, Leonard. We're still allowed to think and say as we please here. I know where the line is as far as what can be said to an officer of the court and what cannot. I'm not concerned.

My point is and was that you don't have to do anything wrong to get in trouble. If the justice system was as we are led to believe, then as soon as the prosecutor uttered those words, the Judge would have intervened and declared a mistrial due to prosecutorial misconduct. Instead, he allowed the problem to play out, opting to go the local political route and do what he needed to do to protect the interests of the County Attorney and his courtroom at the expense of my wife's reputation, her ability to make a living, and our family's financial well being. Had I been able to foresee the consequences, I would have appealed, filed formal complaints with the State Office of the Disciplinarian Administrator, and gone after a few people.

They say innocent until proven guilty, and that simply isn't true anymore. Courts are a process and nothing more. The truth doesn't matter. The defense has to somehow prove a negative and the state can do and say whatever they need to in order to sway gullible juries.

I personally think each jurisdiction should vet and select a panel of appointed jurors - people who are educated and who understand objectivity and the law. Has to be more fair than having someone who barely made it past high school passing judgment on a case heavily laden with scientific details information well above their pay grade. In Lisa's case, one juror was open about the fact that she voted guilty because her husband was at home alone, she needed to get back to him because he was disabled, and that she was told that the trial wouldn't last very long. The pharmacy tech who testified sat on a bench near me in the hallway and flat out told the person next to her that she was pissed at being called in as a witness because she had finals that day at KU and was missing one.

The current system is inherently flawed. A friend of mine- an attorney - works for the Innocence Project. I no longer trust the law.

[ January 27, 2019, 09:02 AM: Message edited by: Cdog911 ]

--------------------
"It is not the critic that counts; but the man in the arena; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end of triumph of high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." T. Roosevelt.

Posts: 5117 | From: east of Great Falls | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
earthwalker
Cultural Editor & middleweight arm wrestling champion/Intermountain Region
Member # 4177

Icon 1 posted January 27, 2019 10:36 AM      Profile for earthwalker           Edit/Delete Post 
What I have seen while sitting and waiting for a jury to be picked and listening in on conversations I don't want these people being on a jury during my trial(if anything should ever come to that). I know I'm usually pissed off beyond reason for wasting my whole day.
Some of these people I don't believe have seen the light of day and they know nothing of their county.

They didn't pick me a couple times back for a DUI because the judge had sentenced my nephew for the same thing and he spent 3 months on jail. I told the whole room too.

You really don't want me on a jury.

--------------------
You are never lost if you don't care where you're at.

Send rain and snow please! Send Lots of RAIN!
No lightning please

Posts: 479 | From: Intermountain region | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged
Leonard
HMFIC
Member # 2

Icon 1 posted January 27, 2019 12:05 PM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
That's funny, EW. Reminds me of what my sister always said during jury selection: Question; Can you be fair and impartial ? Answer; "If he was innocent, he wouldn't be here, would he?" Dismissed! And, her husband was a Lieutenant with the LA County Sheriff's Office Metro Division. And he, whenever asked his occupation, while applying for something or other, would say with a straight face; I'm a professional clown.

As far as what Lance has to say about our system of justice. If you don't like a jury of your peers, request the judge to decide the case on merit. They never allow for benefit of doubt or extenuating circumstances, it's black and white, no wiggle room. Usually, that is.

Good hunting. El Bee

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EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 26125 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged


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