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People v. Edward Rodriguez is done! - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
People v. Edward Rodriguez is done!
I have completed by term of service as a juror. After two days of trial and one day of deliberation, we have come to a verdict in the case of People v. Edward Rodriguez. Rodriguez was charged with Robbery in the First Degree, Robbery in the Third Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and Petit Larceny, all for stealing $200 from Mauricio Rosario on Noble Avenue here in the Bronx. In the end, we weighed the evidence and -- after a certain amount of passionate arguing -- agreed that the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof in order to find him guilty of either of the first two counts. Robbery-1 requires that there be a weapon, and while Rosario claims he was threatened with a knife, no knife was recovered and we were not convinced of the existence of such a weapon. Robbery-3 requires that the money be forcibly taken from the victim, and we weren't convinced of that, either. Having said that, we did all agree completely that Rodriguez stole money from Rosario (we had a confession and everything), but the circumstances as outlined to us in the courtroom only left him guilty of Grand Larceny-4. (The way this worked is, if he's guilty of the first charge, you stop there. If he's not guilty of the first, you move onto the next one, and so on down the line.) We easily found him guilty of that -- which is good, because the arguments about whether or not it was Robbery-1 or Robbery-3 got pretty heated.

Not that that's a bad thing. Everyone in that room was taking their duty as a juror seriously -- sometimes to the point of shouting and interrupting -- but the events of this day were going to change Rodriguez's life forever. We wanted to be absolutely sure of what we decided.

And we were. I actually went into the deliberations intending to find him guilty of Robbery-3, but the discussions led me (and others) to change our minds.

This is my fourth jury, and it's a very edifying and wonderful experience. It's also critically important to allow our criminal justice system to work properly. People who gloat about getting out of jury service are, in my not-at-all-humble opinion, bad citizens of this country. I hope that, if I'm ever in a situation where I'm on trial for something that the jury in my case is as thoughtful and thorough as we were today.

Today, the system worked. And it was awesome.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Privateering" by Mark Knopfler

5 comments or Please comment
woofiegrrl From: woofiegrrl Date: October 26th, 2016 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am, honestly, entirely jealous. I want to be part of that system. The one time I have been called, we were dismissed from the hallway, didn't even make it into the courtroom for voir dire. I want to see this system our country is based on. But they have only called me once.
tiggerallyn From: tiggerallyn Date: October 26th, 2016 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've also only been called once — federal jury duty last year. And, no, I didn't make it to voir dire, either. Half of my jury pool was taken into the courtroom for that, and then they were brought back for the reason I assumed — the defendant's lawyers were making a last minute deal. An hour later a woman came in, explained that our case was settled and we could go, and since it was lunchtime in Harrisburg I went to an Irish pub and drank.
alorarose From: alorarose Date: October 26th, 2016 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I received the notice twice, I believe. The first time, my number was never called to show up at the courthouse. The second time, I was dismissed from the door of the court room because at that time, financial hardship for missing work was a thing. Though, by the way they were dismissing people, I think they were on the tail end of finding someone because they were letting people go for really ridiculous reasons.
sweetmmeblue From: sweetmmeblue Date: October 27th, 2016 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I got myself dismissed once by showing up sounding awful with a cold. I did have one and had just flown back to CO from MA. I got called up in MA when I had small children and no childcare and I was released. I showed up twice and they asked me my profession and I told them. They released me. Seems that SWers don't make good panelists as we are really concerned for many things including victim's rights as well as fair treatment of prisoners.
finnyb From: finnyb Date: October 27th, 2016 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)

l've been called for jury duty three times. First time, I was called in Colorado, my home state, while I was at school in Boston.  I was excused.  Second time, I was at home in Colorado over the summer, and I was called in Boston.  I was excused. 

And the third time, I was called in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where I live as a permanent resident of Canada, but not yet a Canadian citizen (as that whole process takes more money than I have available right now).  Permanent residents are not allowed to serve on juries up here, according to the nice folks at the court building, so I was excused yet again.

At this rate, I think the universe is conspiring against me ever serving on a jury!

5 comments or Please comment