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Thread: Did my civic duty.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955

    Did my civic duty.

    I spent the last week on a jury deciding the case of a local murder. It was a very difficult time given the violence involved and the whole tragedy. We found the defendant guilty of first degree murder, felony murder and home invasion. He will never be free again. He murdered an 80 year old grandmother for $100.

    After the trial I spoke with the family and was able to help them deal with their grief. They were very appreciative and we talked for several hours over a few beers. They have been dealing with the case for nearly 5 years.

    I was particularly concerned about the defendant because he showed many signs of being a sociopath killer. At the end of the trial he got in an altercation with some family members and threatened to "do them like he did to ".........(he referred to another possible victim) All this in the presence of a state police officer who was aware of an investigation going on in another state of a murder where the police there felt they had another person pegged for that crime. This officer got right on the phone to inform them that they might be looking at the wrong guy.

    I sure hope they can get him on the other charges if he is indeed guilty.

    It was somewhat redemptive for me because I had a friend murdered when I was a teen by a sociopath where he wasn't caught until he had killed 3 other women and attempter to kill 2 kids. It sure dragged up a lot of memories of the past and it is entirely saddening and sickening to see another cold, calculating, cunning, smart, killer.

    I'm sure glad he is off the streets.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,020
    Wow, sounds like a tough, yet enlightening week. I'm guessing it was a roller coaster of emotions.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
    Posts
    3,798
    Kudos on doing your duty..I've sat thru the selection process a few times and once had the judge excuse me for hunting season, I told him it was a family tradition and being that I was unemployed{different time, not the current} I could surely serve any other time{LOL}, He said he granted it on originality, winked and signed off my required stay
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
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    2,784
    Paul, sounds like you were meant to be there to help the family. Thank you for your service to your community.
    But it is tough. I've been there. Capitol murder trial, sequestered and off work for 2 weeks. Somewhat similar circumstances except this guy killed his step Mom for about 135 bucks. When we got to the penalty phase, we found out he was a strong suspect in another murder in Ohio. IIRC, the single mother of 12 or 13 year old girl. And had threatened the daughter and maybe a friend. This one was a slam dunk case as testimony showed he took a Detective and his father to where he stashed the car in an abandoned parking garage with her body inside. The one humane act we could see from this guy is he wouldn't let his Dad go with the Detective to check the car out. It was unanimous the first vote we took.
    As tough as this was, it was a great experience for me. I met some truly neat people on the jury. The Judge was a hoot. The second chair Assistant DA had us rolling during his final argument with the first chair lowering his head and placing his hand over his eyes in disbelief at what he just heard (the phrase he used describing the theft of the money was something like 'this ill gotten booty' .) All in all, it's an experience I'll never forget. And knowing I helped take a truly horrible individual off the streets was all the payment I needed. Jim.
    Last edited by Jim O'Dell; 05-21-2011 at 01:09 PM.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    3,220
    wow. stressful stuff. good work.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,353
    Paul,
    I sat on a jury in Houston on a murder trial... it takes a toll on everyone involved, victims, victim's family, jury members and even the courts themselves. My case was a young man that robbed a convenience store and killed the man that ran the store, after he had the money, the store keep was unconscious on the floor... he shot the man with his own gun after shooting up the store with a .45 with which he hit nothing, then used it to club the store keep.... he got about $80, then took the money to another man's house to buy drugs... he and an accomplice beat then killed the drug dealer and then went upstairs and shot and kill a 10 year old boy and a 12 year old girl.... he was turned in by one of his "homies" for the $200 reward from the tip line at the police station... it's been over 10 years and I'm still bothered when I think about those two innocent little kids... and the store keeper who was just trying to make a living and worked two jobs to support his family..... the drug dealer didn't bother me so much, but he was the kids father... a whole family wiped out...
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hedgesville,WV
    Posts
    158
    never been called for jury duty...won't be there long if I did. why? because I have several friends who are police officers, and I know these people and where they come from. in todays' legal system, the police must darned near be lawyers, or they'll be made look like fools during the trial. SOOOO, as far as I'm concerned: if they arrest you for a crime, yer quilty in my book. I'll accept the colateral damge from the POSSIBLE miniscule # of those who are innocent.we're not perfect,so don't expect 100% right answers. that may shock many, but I believe in our law enforcement( NOT the lawyers)and trust them that the training WE provided for them was adequate.
    thanks for putting that scumbag away..altho I'm a firm believer in Capitol punishment, and see no need for him to be a financial burden to the working man/woman.
    "Treat everyone equally,keep your word, and overlook peoples' mistakes...you'll make plenty yourself "..... spoken to me by a much wiser man than I.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    James, knowing police officers is no free pass from jury duty. I also know several and have a brother who is one. I have pulled a pistol on a home invader, been the plaintiff/victim in a criminal trial, been on jury duty for criminal trials,.....I was surprised to be left on the jury. I may be on another jury soon as I am on jury duty until July.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,353
    I got rejected for jury duty in California because I had a southern accent.. ... I was called up and seated in the jury box and the lawyers were going through their due diligence... the prosecutor asked me a question, don't remember the question, but when I answered, he asked where I was from... by then I had been living in the Bay Area over 10 years, but was born and raised in east Texas... the defendant was a black man accused of assault or something along that line... anyway, they didn't want me...

    Later was called up again for a civil trial in which a young man was suing Ford because his 4 wheel drive vehicle that he had parked on an incline to change the hubs to 4 wheel mode had rolled back over him and broke his leg...I begged off that one because I was single and had a 5 year old at home that I was sole caretaker for.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    I was rejected from one jury because the defendant was black and they asked if anyone had been in a fight with a black person before. I was one of 23 whites in an all black school so my answer was "yes". They never asked or they would have found out that my sister is black and another sisters husband is black. My brother-in-law is a great person whom I have a ton of respect for. I don't give a hoot what color a person is, it is their character that defines them.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

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