Trial by jury – a retirees account

Posted on January 17, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Our right to a trial by jury is one of our most important constitutional rights. In our state superior court, I was Juror #5. There were 6 men and 6 women and 4 alternates chosen to sit at trial. They included a banker, postal carrier, teacher, nurse, realtor, medical technician, retired persons and others. Young and old. “How will this work” I thought.

“Do NOT discuss this case with each other or anyone else” commanded the Judge. We all listened carefully to testimony and evidence presented in the courtroom for more than 6 weeks, taking copious notes.

When we were eventually excused to the jury room to decide multiple verdicts, and where our conversations had been limited to weather and sports, I found the predominantly younger jurors were smart, focused, well organized, passionate and articulate. Of course we had our debates! But we operated like a team.

We delivered the verdicts, and returned to our jury room….

Then, we cried.

Men and women, young and old.

Our service in the administration of justice to the people of our state exceeded our individual strengths, made us a family of citizens and worked very well indeed!

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