Jury duty is certainly an eye-opener.
In the criminal trial on which
I was a jury member, it is very clear to me the law was terribly unjust, and it probably still is. Yet the judge
said we had to follow it.
A woman had obtained a no-contact order against a man. He moved
to another city.
But, later, she got to missing him, and tracked him down to the house where he
was living, in the new city he had moved to.
While he was away at work, she broke into his house,
and when he got home, there she was, halfway through a six-pack of beer, and in a really ornery mood.
it or not, according to our state law, HE WAS GUILTY, right then and there.
Obviously the law
is obscenely unjust.
As judges have always pointed out, we have go by the law, like it or not.
Fortunately, the lawyer and the judge alerted the jury to a "defense" the man might use.
A person has the legal right to defend his/her stuff.
If we decided, that he thought
she might trash his stuff, then he had the legal right to stay and defend it, and this would provide a legal "defense"
against the charge of violating the no-contact order.
She was half way through a six pack of beer
In fact she smashed a half full can of beer into his face.
So, we the jury, decided, he certainly needed to stay and defend his stuff, and, so, he was, thus,
Let me touch upon something called "jury nullification."
The U.S. Constitution is suppose to be the supreme law of the land.
But, what if the
judge's strict legal instructions, or state law for that mater, run directly contrary to the constitution?
I suspect there are occasions where juries, in their hearts, decide to disregard contrary state law, or the judge's
I certainly would not want to admit such a thing, if I were to do it.
What if in conscience before God, or to do right with God, you feel God wants you to do as I just suggested?
In the civil trial of the business man suing the French company, we thought jury selection was so weird.
We realized later, they wanted jurors who knew what constituted a valid, legal, oral, business contract.
That was our job on the jury, to see if they two parties had a "meeting of the mind."
That is, were they really in agreement as to what they were trying to contract for?
evidence was equally divided on each side.
The jury instructions specifically forbid "flipping
It finally came down to the behavior of the two parties when they went out to lunch
following their oral agreement. An oral agreement IS legal in our state, even for large sums.
two parties "clinking their glasses." Did this mean they were in agreement?
crazy, the evidence was so evenly divided, that is all we had to decide on.
In this civil suit,
10 of the 12 jury members were all that was needed to decide the matter.
They decided "clinking
glasses," meant they had a "deal."
Two of us said, "no way."
But the 10 decided the case on the clinking of the glasses.
One more thing I though
of as we were finishing up this case.
Suppose the local business man, and he seemed to be a sly
dog, saw a slick way to make some millions of $.
I am guessing the cost of the lawyers and court
cost would have be, maybe, $300,000.
But, he was suing for $20 million.
would not be surprised if he decided to "roll the dice."
He DID, in fact, win the court
I would guess the $20 million was shooting for the moon, and that the Judge gave his much
But, by "rolling the dice" he may have made a very handsome profit.
I wonder how many law suits are filed by sly dogs who just want to see if they can make a killing.