Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Sits in Judgment

Hey there, Anna-Liza here.

So Tuesday, I had jury duty. I’ve been called five times in five or six years. I didn’t have to report twice. This is the first time I’ve actually served. Darlin’ K has never been called. Not once. Just sayin’.

To cover the most important thing first, yes, they did let me bring my knitting–they always have. I did take the precaution of bringing only wood or bamboo needles, and leaving my notions bag with the scissors in the car. I got quite a bit done! I’m now done with the body of Mr. B’s sweater, and am working on the sleeves.

It was a one-day trial, a DUI plus one other count, but we were warned “it might go past 5 o’clock.” Well, yeah, 9:30 p.m. is pretty much past 5. They did buy us dinner, but we still ended up a hung jury on the DUI charge.

I do have to say this: the opinions of some of my fellow jurors about all the reasons a person might weave while driving, and that the level of weaving observed being done by the defendant was within the range of “normal” … well, I’m feeling rather less safe on the roads now. (No one mentioned that the guy might have been getting a blowjob, but I’d say that’s rather more likely an explanation than that he was so caught up in the conversation he wouldn’t notice that his car was straddling the lane divider line, if it wasn’t due to alcohol.)

Of course, one of them mentioned that he frequently works until past midnight and gets stopped by the police on the way home “every week” (that’s an exact quote) … may I just say that I’ve been driving since I was 16 (*cough*twentynineyears*cough) and have been pulled over fewer than five times? And I’m not just driving in office hours?

Anyway, we agreed to a “guilty” verdict on the “weaving” charge (“Failure to Stay in One Lane of Traffic” or something like that), but four of the jurors felt the prosecution had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the weaving was due to impairment by alcohol. They all said they thought he actually was alcohol impaired (we all agreed he wasn’t terribly drunk–more “merry” as the Brits say, so we weren’t going to convict him of DUI, but we were arguing about the lesser charge of DWAI) but that the prosecution hadn’t proved that beyond a reasonable doubt. Their idea of “reasonable” seemed to be more of “beyond a shadow of a doubt”, but hey. Oh, there was no blood-alcohol test because he refused, thereby automatically losing his license for a year. No, that’s not suspicious at all!

So apparently, while I was given permission — actually, explicit instructions — to judge my fellow human, I took the opportunity to also judge my fellow jurors! And the poor schmuck who was waiting on our decision will have to go through another trial on the DUI charge. But, as the judge said (and I really liked him–he had a sense of humor), this is the way it’s supposed to work, and it would have been wrong if any of us had given in to the other side just because we were tired and wanted to go home. So we didn’t, and we were allowed to go home anyway. Eventually.

Oh, for those of you familiar with Boulder and environs, I was there on the same day that the “pink poodle” trial started. I kind of wish I’d been on that jury! Two, two television camera crews! Ah ah ah ah!! (thunder)

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One thought on “Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Sits in Judgment

  1. lyda

    If you’d been on the Pink Poodle Trial, you could have been knitting on TV! But it would have been hard to keep a straight face…

    Reply

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