May 7, 2009

First day as a grand juror

Filed under: civil obligations — origamifreak @ 7:15 am

In an hour I have to be at the courthouse to start hearing cases.

In the meantime I will share with you the hokey movie we were shown to inspire us to show up and do our civic duty like good little doobies. It’s the second one on the page.

Also, here’s an interesting article that claims rather convincingly that grand juries have been co-opted by government to serve as rubber stamps for prosecutors.  Many countries and US states have abolished them entirely.

I have to say that it does seem a bit unbalanced that the DA gets to decide everything we hear, have access to, etc. and he also is our sole legal advice other than the judge, to whom we will have limited access.  In a county where the sheriff was recently removed and the DA himself has been accused of misusing authority.

May 4, 2009

Eleven of Twenty-three

Filed under: civil obligations — origamifreak @ 12:16 pm
Tags: ,

No, I’m not a Borg, but as of this morning I am a grand jury member.

I recieved a summons a few weeks ago to show up at the local county courthouse.

About 40 people were there and they picked 23 of us out of a hat.  I was the 11th one called.  Every Thursday morning through August I’m supposed to go there and hear cases and decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence and reasonable cause to forward them to the trial process.  Sometimes the days might go as late as 4pm.

It may end up being an interesting 4 months.  I hope not TOO interesting – apparently sometimes the cases that we’ll have to decide whether to indict, dismiss, punt to another court, or submit a report on might be kind of intense.  Like kids having to testify against their molester scout leaders, firemen having to testify about not being able to save families burned alive from arson, etc.

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