07 March 2007

Free At Last

Me, that is, as jury duty is over. The defendant? We found him guilty.

The trial was interesting - white collar criminal case in Federal court - a Russian diplomat at the UN accused of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The US Attorneys were terrific, the star witness was excellent on the stand, the defense counsel were obfuscating bumblers, and the sole witness for the defense did far more harm than good. The judge was also wonderful - focused, smart, prepared, and on the ball.

The whole thing lasted 4 and a half days. Opening statements and the prosecution took the first three days, the defense and the closing statements took day four, and the judge's charge to the jury and the subsequent deliberations took the last half day. Actually, the judge's charge took 50 minutes, as she read and read and read her instructions to us, along with the definitions of the crimes and the relevant pieces of the law. And the deliberations? There was no discussion. It was almost shocking. The foreman took us through a series of questions, everyone said yes yes yes, and we were done. There was more discussion AFTER we reached the verdict than before.

So, done.


Aurelia said...

I find this interesting because jurors in Canada aren't allowed to be asked about the case deliberations ever. (Avoids harassment)

And most don't volunteer their opinions, so it's a big blank for research.

But it sounded cool.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting indeed! Sounds like you really enjoyed it!