Ladies and gentlemen of the jury


If you ever want to feel like you obviously live a pretty boring life, you should be involved in a jury selection for a DUI case. I was yesterday, and I learned that I’m actually in a bit of the minority for 1. never having been cited with driving under the influence, 2. not knowing anybody particularly close to me who has, 3. nor knowing anyone who’s been injured by a drunk driver, 4. not discussing in grisly detail the work of my law enforcement relatives (ok, so I don’t even have any law enforcement relatives, so I couldn’t even get to the discussion part) and, 5. (oddly for Utah, I think) belonging to a religion that prohibits the consumption of alcohol.

But, boring, apparently, can also lead you to being selected as a juror. Well, boring and dressing respectably. I really should have gone with my gut instinct to bring the stack of Watchtowers and wear the shirt with a giant “Jehovah-God is Watching!” As a result, though, of chinos and a tie, I was selected to determine whether or not someone else did something illegal. I guess I could have been like the one woman who admitted that she thinks anyone who drinks EVER shouldn’t have a license. But, really, either that’s a crazy reach for being excused or she sort of freaks me out. Though, she freaks me out less than the woman who believed one is guilty until proven innocent. Because, y'know, that's a good sytem, right, South America?

This system of administering justice is totally ludicrous, right? A bunch of strangers are summoned. A small set of them (26) show up. Then, four are selected and they get to make a decision that has pretty serious implications for someone else. It’s weird.

The trial itself was sort of meh. Though, I wish I could have pulled aside the defense attorney and told him, “Look, dude, your whole ‘the defendant is being painted evil just like Severus Snape’ is not as convincing nor as clever as you clearly think it is. Also, did you seriously just call dui investigations “a witch hunt”?” In his closing statement, he also placed a lot of emphasis on the fact that there was no Intoxilyzer test. Of course, that was dumb, because why draw attention to the sketchiest fact of our client’s investigation? And, also, the legal limit of alcohol doesn’t matter if your client was intoxicated beyond the ability to control the vehicle.

To be honest, I'm not sure this woman really had a chance. I know, I know, she was presumed innocent, but her actions were super sketch, as was her testimony. But, I did manage to help get her off the hook for failure to yield to pedestrians. Which I'm sure she feels just great about.


blackchinos said...

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