12 Men 12 Minds

Once again, please note that this post does not discuss any specifics regarding the case I am currently sitting on. This post only discusses my experience today as the case went to the jury for deliberations.

I don't think there is any official blogging policy for Jury Duty but I am not obviously supposed to discuss any details with anybody, not even fellow jurors. Today however, we were finally able to discuss the case and that is the one thing that the 12 people in the room were all ecstatic about as we entered deliberations. The day began excruciatingly slow as we all sat in the jury room from 9:00am until 1:00pm before we were called down to the court. The defense quickly rested and the judge then proceeded to give the jurors and hour worth of instructions regarding the law in the case.

We then returned to the jury room and began to discuss the basic details in the case. I was under the false impression that we would all be on the same page. I sat in the courtroom for five days and heard testimony from a number of witnesses. I was in the same courtroom as all of the other jurors and heard the same words from all the same people. But I soon found out that 12 people can hear all the same information and come to 12 different conclusions. I had discounted the testimony of witnesses I felt had been impeached and were untrustworthy, while others held this testimony as the pinnacle and turning point of the case. I sat in the room and was shocked.

I resisted my general urge to call all of the people that disagreed with my obviously correct opinion of the case idiots and tried to listen to their reasoning. Most of this reasoning in my mind was flawed, (keep in mind I am always right) and I tried to impress upon the importance of the specifics of the case as I saw them.

I am not sure that I will understand how all 12 of us came to different conclusions, but I really now appreciate the need to a trail by jury. We will all need to review the evidence as presented to us and come to one conclusion. If Americans were not all guaranteed a trial by jury then only one person (the judge) who is a representative of the state would make this decision. At least now the defendant has a fair shot. Deliberations will be one of the most interesting parts of this trial.

I just hope we can all agree that I am right.

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