WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I WAS ON JURY DUTY I SWEAR TO GOD
When I'm not working with HiCaliber Horse Rescue, I'm a lawyer for the Man. The agency I work for rhymes with Schmepartment of Schomeland Schmecurity, which is why I was super surprised when I was chosen for jury duty. But this actually happened.
- •It was a possession with intent to sell caseWhat this means is that no cops or witnesses saw the defendants sell drugs, they just allegedly had SO MUCH drugs that the law can assume that the defendants meant to sell it.
- •The Prosecutor asked me on Voir Dire Whether I Liked Dogs and I was Like Why?Well the reason was this: when the cops busted down this couples' apartment door based on a tip from a confidential informant, they just went ahead and shot the dogs living there. The defense was like, That means your confidential informant was kinda an idiot because he/she didn't warn you about the dogs. If they had, you guys would have brought those animal stun gun things. And I thought: good point. Was definitely not into the dead dogs. Defense: 1. Prosecution: 0
- •A Couple Was on TrialIt was a boyfriend and girlfriend. The girlfriend testified, I had no idea he was still doing drugs, I've just been working at Blockbuster (this was in 2003) and going to community college. The boyfriend testified that he was a drug addict, but not a drug dealer. When the prosecutors tried to have a Perry Mason moment and said "isn't it true you were at a crack house in such and such date?" the boyfriend said, "Yeah, I'm a crack addict. We go to crack houses." Defense: 2 Prosecution: 0
- •The Extra Drugs Were Found in the HallwayThe cops pulled the boyfriend into the hallway in his boxers. It was there they found the extra drugs that pushed the case to an "intent to sell" case. Boyfriend testified that the drugs in the apartment were his but the drugs in the apartment hallway were not. So reasonable. Defense 3, Prosecution: 0.
- •Juries are WeirdWhen we got to the jury room 10 of us all agreed that the girlfriend should be found not-guilty, and the boyfriend should be found guilty of possession but not possession with intent to sell. But two old ladies from Bensonhurst were like, no they are both guilty. We were all totally shocked and sat in the jury room fighting for two days.
- •Until...So finally this guy who had been silent the whole time speaks up and says: "Okay, these two are not drug dealers. I know because I'm a drug dealer. They wouldn't have such a shitty apartment or TV if they were drug dealers." And this was apparently good enough for the two old ladies, so we didn't convict the girlfriend but did convict the boyfriend for possession (he did get on the stand and say he had drugs after all), but not for selling. Juries of your peers really is a thing.