EppsNet Archive: Jury Duty

I Paid My Debt to Society

19 Jul 2017 /
Jury

I paid my debt to society by reporting in for jury duty today. Jury duty is worse than losing a limb. In my experience, if you pick 12 Americans at random, you get nine good, clear-thinking citizens and three people who are like, “Well, anything’s possible.”

For example, the last time I served on a jury, the case involved a defendant who was driving drunk and crashed a car with passengers into a tree. There were photos taken after the crash showing the defendant pinned behind the steering wheel of the car.

His defense? He wasn’t the person driving the car. He didn’t testify himself but that was the defense presented by his attorney. And three of the jurors were like, “Yeah, that’s possible.” Hung jury.

 

Today I survived three rounds of random juror calls in the morning and by lunchtime they started calling names of people to go home, including mine.

The people still left in the jury assembly room didn’t appreciate my exuberant fist pumps on my way out.

In the hallway, I crossed paths with some actual jurors on their way to the cafeteria.

“Let justice be done though the heavens fall!” I exclaimed. They didn’t appreciate me either.


The People v. O.J. Simpson

31 Jan 2016 /
O.J. Simpson

There’s a miniseries coming out called The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. I’m not going to watch it, not for any singular reason — I don’t watch other TV shows either — but I don’t remember the Simpson trial having a great deal of entertainment value.

  1. The trial proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Simpson was guilty, even though a guilty verdict was not returned.
  2. Eight of the 12 trial jurors were black women. The prosecution believed that the jurors would identify with the female victim. The defense team believed that the jurors would identify with the black murderer. The defense was right.
  3. Conventional wisdom says that anyone who can’t get out of a lengthy term of jury service is not very bright. Only two of the Simpson jurors had a college degree. One never finished high school. The prosecution bored and confused them with DNA evidence. The defense gave them a nursery rhyme. You know the result.

Let’s Get Drunk and See How Fast We Can Drive My Expensive Car

16 Jul 2012 /
Car crashing into tree

According to the California Highway Patrol, [Kurt Duncan] Naegele, [Ryan Robert] Doheny, Doheny’s brother-in-law Darren William Dahlman, 38, of Pasadena, and Christopher H. Pennell of Los Angeles, had been drinking as guests invited to a birthday party on the San Simeon ranch on Sept. 18, 2009.

They drove to the airstrip to find out how fast Naegele’s Range Rover could go, something a CHP investigator claims Doheny later told him was a bad idea because it was pitch black out and Naegele was driving very fast and erratically. Around 11 p.m., the Range Rover rolled several times
before falling down a steep embankment 300 feet off the runway on the north side of the airstrip.

The crash killed Dahlman, seriously injured Naegele (who had to be extricated from behind the steering wheel) and also injured Pennell and Doheny. Naegele and Doheny estimated to officers that they had been traveling 35 mph at the time of the crash, but CHP investigators who examined the skid marks and other evidence at the scene determined they were going more like 105 mph.

Here’s where things get strange: Naegele maintains that Doheny was actually driving the vehicle, but rather than take the case to trial, he cut a plea deal for a year in custody and four years of probation.

Footnote: I was on jury duty in a similar case, where a drunk guy drove a car full of drunks into a tree, pinning himself behind the steering wheel, then claimed in court that he wasn’t the driver. You gotta say something, right?

Result? Hung jury. You can always count on three idiots out of 12 who believe that anything’s possible.


Jury Duty

25 Sep 2004 /

I had jury duty last week. Jury duty is the worst thing in the world, except for maybe losing a limb.

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