jury duty and thoughts

ok, since things have calmed down
a bit

i'll tell you about jury duty

it was boring...cops trying to prove
that a guy was drunk when he rolled back
his stick-shift vehicle into an off duty cop

the guy left the scene of the - um accident
(off duty cop's car not hurt)

cop follows him to his home..call more cops

guy goes inside his home - drink a fifth of 90 proof
bourbon - he doesn't like the 80 proof kind (his words)

then on-duty cops show up
arrest him for being drunk (um, in his own home)

and blood tests him at .409 (no shit, like they had to carry
this guy out of his house to arrest him)

so anyways...

i was daydreaming as cop after cop took
the stand and told how expert they were
in determining if someone was drunk
by looking at them - sigh

and i was
giving thanks that i could be a jury member
on this boring trial - as this defendant
still had his rights...Alcoholic that he was (his words)

and it got me thinking

that i want only one more law made..in washington dc

"any state law takes precedence over any federal law"

so if you want to live in a liberal state
you can

and if you want to live in a conservative state
you can

however, no matter who was in the white house
you could rest assured
you would still have the same level of intrusion
into your personal life that
the state you lived in
afforded you

our country's
demographics would become very interesting then!

***

and now for something completely different : August Wilson

***

16 comments:

pissed off patricia said...

Is the trial over? How did it come out? Sounds like the cops were on a mission rather than a case.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting to read but I doubt seriously that being on the jury was riveting... :>) Glad you've survived the ordeal.

BBC said...

I fell asleep three times reading that. LOL

M. Shahin said...

Sounds quite boring azgoddess :-) but at least you did not face a complicated trial, and had to decide someone's fate. I've seen cases where it looked like someone was guilty and wasn't or the other way around. And it became a tough job for the jury to decide.

Thanks for that recommendation on Wilson. I will be reading some of his plays soon. I love plays because it gets down to dialogue and doesn't have anything else to distract the reader.

Kvatch said...

"any state law takes precedence over any federal law"

It is supremely ironic that liberals that the last 6 years have forced liberals to become the advocates of state's rights.

Stan Matuska said...

Interesting post. I for one, have never been on a jury, but I would like to be just to actually experience it.

I have seen cases where the Judge believes the jury didn't come back with a "just" verdict, and changes it! Typically, they change it from Not Guilty to Guilty. Have you heard of this? Why is this allowed???

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know the answer to Stan's question as well!

"any state law takes precedence over any federal law" - I'd be moving tomorrow ;-).

So, did you vote to acquit, az? I swear if someone can't get drunk in their own damn house.....(I sound almost like an old school conservative, huh? Before the sex & recreational libation police took over their party ;-)).

Case Wagenvoord said...

Look on the bright side, you could have been asked to interpret an obscure clause in an insurance contact. At least you had some drama to deal with.

John Good said...

I'm waiting to see a Republican stumble across this one and cool an entire building with his spinning head. . .(chuckle)

HillCountryGal said...

I'm proud you did your civic duty, even if it was dreadfully boring. I have often thought of making up some outrageous statement or excuse to get out of jury duty, like "I know he's guilty", but I never do. Good to be reading your posts again.

SheaNC said...

Interesting idea on the states. From purple to stripes!

dada said...

"any state law takes precedence over any federal law"

Hmmm, this might avoid the bloody civil wars I've been dreading and dreaming about. Might be a way to get me back to the central California coast or the Eugene, OR areas - whatever states they would be in then.

mariamaria said...

i'll take boring over gory. At least you did give your time to the system. Wouldn't it be fun to be on the jury that got to impeach Cheney??

Robert Rouse said...

My ex-wife sat on a jury during the murder trial of a young man who murdered his adopted parents. They found him guilty, but because everyone on the jury found the prosecuter to be overly arrogant and gruff, they gave the young man life in prison and ignored all the witnesses who said he had to have the death penalty.

I was happy about this since I'm against the ultimate punishment, but my ex was a strong supporter of the death penalty, so it also surprised me. I guess sometimes a jury can turn on the authorities when they strike the wrong nerve.

Davis Mello said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
diggity said...

I stumbled across this blog looking for something completely unrelated but thought I would clear up some gross misunderstandings.

First of all- Stan... the judge can only issue a directed verdict as a matter of law when the facts presented at trial could not reasonably lead the jury to conclude otherwise. This is really, really rare. The state cannot appeal a criminal acquittal, so an appellate court can never reverse a jury's finding of "not guilty." An appellate court can only reverse a guilty verdict. Much of this is very legally technical, but your characterization that judges often change "not guilty" verdicts to "guilty" ones is totally off-base.

Case... no actually you most likely can't be asked to interpret an obscure clause in an insurance contract. Juries decide ONLY disputes of material fact. Judges rule on matters of law. The interpretation of an obscure clause in an insurance contract is almost certainly never going to come down to a question of fact. It will be a question of law to be decided by the judge.

mariamaria... if you think it would be fun to sit on a "jury" to impeach Cheney, then you better get started on your 2008 Senate campaign. The Senate tries a federal impeachment trial. How little do you know about American government?

Finally, if state law trumped Federal law, then there would be no nation. So have fun with that, too.