JURY DUTY

One of my high-almighty statements about the Casey Anthony jury was that getting a quality jury is hard when people are doing everything they can to avoid this duty.  I have put a lot of thought into this because I am certainly one of those people.

There are jokes about serving jury duty.  One is that you aren’t smart enough to think of a good reason not to go or another, that you don’t have a life so even jury duty is something!  Even though it is far from a rule, most employers are not happy that you must go.  If you actually get selected for a jury, heaven forbid it be a long trial.  That is not really an unrealistic issue since so many companies today run on skeleton crews and the work piles up while you are gone.  I’ve never had a boss tell me to try to get out of it but they are not disappointed when I don’t have to serve.

Last time I served someone in the jury pool told the judge his boss would not let him serve on a long trial and the judge offered to call the boss and discuss it.  I learn well from the mistakes of others!

I considered why I don’t like jury duty and I am sure it is not because I don’t want to be judgmental.  I wish that was the reason but that would be a horrible lie.  I judge people all day every day.  Not intentionally, I just do.  I hope that I keep my opinions in my head and only every so often they fly out of my mouth.  It is not a behavior that makes me proud.  It is easy to arrive at the “what was she thinking?” or “did you see those shoes” type judgment.  Fashion is such an easy target.

I am sure the biggest reason I do not like jury duty is that it is out of my routine.  Rather than welcome a change, I want to avoid it.   I am used to doing things the way they are done.  Now I will have to leave the house earlier than usual, go to a place I am not that familiar with and sit.  Last time I took my computer with me and tried to work.  We were up and down, moved to this area and then back to that area.  There was no way I could concentrate to complete any work. 

Can you believe that I don’t like to be on a jury because I am inconvenienced?  That is such a sad state of affairs.  Our nation has the best court systems in the world and I would hope that if I ever needed a jury no one would have the lousy attitude I have.

So, guess what happened with my high and mighty attitude?  I received a jury summons on Thursday.  I will report 8/11.  Great.  That will certainly teach me to shoot off my big mouth!  I have no intention of volunteering my services but maybe I won’t try quite so hard to control the outcome.  It might be interesting to learn more about the way our system works. 

So, if you will be at the Orange County Courthouse on the 11th let me know.  Maybe we can chat!

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CASEY ANTHONY TRIAL

Depending on where you live you may or may not have heard much about the Casey Anthony trial.  Here in Central Florida, it has been a very big deal.  It has been difficult to not have an opinion and most are very strong.  Many of us have invested lots of time in this case reading every article that was printed.  There were lines of people hoping to get a courtroom seat during the trial.  National news agencies surrounded the Orange County Courthouse.  I don’t remember ever seeing anything like this. 

I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about forensics; both medical and computer.  I am amazed at how our every move can be traced.  This is one of those things that you know in your head but when you see it in reality it is almost scary.

Judge Belvin Perry was amazing and a good representative of our court system.  He demanded respect in his courtroom and did not tolerate disrespect from the spectators or the lawyers.  I never would have wanted the responsibility that the jury had; how they reached their verdict may never be known.

Do I agree with the verdict?  No, absolutely not.  I sat there absolutely numb when they read it.  However, I do have to remember that the jury did not see much of the information that I saw.  They were in and out of the courtroom constantly. 

In criminal law, Blackstone’s formulation (also known as Blackstone’s ratio or the Blackstone ratio) is the principle: “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer“, expressed by the English jurist William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s.  (This came to my mind and I Googled it so that I got the information correct).  As much as I was unhappy with the verdict, I do believe in this theory.  I do not believe in the death penalty, I think it should be abolished.  You don’t have to agree with me, I am a big girl and can think for myself. 

I was emotionally vested in this trial and I wanted it to be finished.  A guilty verdict would have tied things up and Caylee could “rest in peace” so to speak.  That is how things are supposed to work.  But life is not like that and things rarely package that neat. 

I do hope that Casey will take advantage of the gift she has been given and change the course of her life.  She will certainly be a very wealthy girl soon.  She has shown she is very smart and hopefully she will take some of the money she will be given and get an education.  Maybe one of her defense lawyers will give her a job.  Who knows what her life will become?

For me, I will let it all go, let God be the judge in the end and try to remember that when push comes to shove a beautiful child is dead and nothing will ever make that ok.  My life will go on and tomorrow I will be listening to the radio instead of a trial.  I think I will be listening to my Jesus music for a few weeks. I need the peace.