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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jury Duty Excitement!

For those of you who read the Regina Leader-Post, you may already know the story, but I definitely want to share what I can about my experience as a juror. Obviously - I can't discuss what happened in the jury room, or conversations that took place among us jurors, but anything that happened in the court room is public knowledge (as any of you could have attended the proceedings). Basically, in this case, there were two charges of break-and-enter with intent to commit an indictable offense, as well as possession of a stolen vehicle, and evading police with said stolen vehicle. The main case the defense was putting forth was a lack of evidence connecting the accused to the crimes and the vehicle, as he was apprehended after numerous police followed tracks through snow and there was ample (the defense's opinion) time for the actual criminal to get away. The accused was, perhaps, at the wrong place at the wrong time. One of the main discussion points was the fact that no glass was ever found on the accused - whether on his clothing, in his boots, etc. Imagine for me now, the shock (that's the only way to describe it - and even then it sounds like such an understatement) when the jury discovers GLASS SHARDS in the boots which were exhibited for evidence. That's correct - we found glass shards in the boots that the accused was wearing when arrested. Being the foreperson of the jury, it was my duty to write a note to the judge as that was our means of communication with him. Seeing as we had a court reporter present, my note was actually published in the newspaper! It said "We found glass in the boot!" followed by "(What can we do!??!)" as well as stating that none of us touched the glass - and we had put the glass shards into an envelope, which I sealed, and labeled for the judge. Both my note and the sealed envelope were then exhibited for the proceedings, but we were (of course) instructed by the judge to disregard the glass when deliberating, simply due to the lack of continuity - anyone could have placed that glass there, and in order to be valid evidence, the original investigation would have had to discover that glass - and I fully understand that. We also had no evidence that the glass was from any of the crimes we were hearing about.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed having the experience of being on a jury. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event (unless I get selected again, of course!) and unlike most people who dread jury duty, I quite enjoyed the break from my normal routine, and would gladly do it again. It was quite the adventure!

And so, I guess it's back to my normal routine!

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