Final Day of Jury Duty

Sorry this took so long to get out… I’ve been, busy to say the least.

So the final day of jury duty was an interesting one, and really makes me happy that I did complete my Jury Duty. The final day was deliberations. This is the first and only day I decided to drive, because I was going to head to work right after Jury Duty was over.

We arrived at 8 AM, the first thing I noticed, was I had two new interpreters who I hadn’t seen before. I was expecting the two I had the day before, but after chatting for a minute to bring them up to speed on the name signs I was use to for the different people, as well as just chatting, I understood why they would bring in a new set of interpreters. They wanted to be sure that my interpreters personal opinions on the case didn’t influence my opinion on the case. Although interpreters are suppose to be 100% neutral, and just interpret what is being said, it is very hard not to let personal opinions get in the way, especially with body language.

We started deliberations as soon as everyone was there, we elected a Jury Foreman, or the person who would keep us on track, and also deliver the verdict to the court. We chose a woman named Elizabeth, who was very fair and use to teach, which really did help keep us on track. We discussed witness by witness, what their relations to either the defendant or the victim were, their demeanor on the stand, their language, how words can be changed through an interpreter, their motives for taking the stand, how their stories changed, who’s stories lined up with one another, the important pieces of their testimonies, what could have impacted their memory, what could have impacted their testimonies… we talked for hours. I had to keep interjecting, please, one at a time, please talk one at a time. My interpreters did a great job keeping up (as long as the conversation was one at a time) and I think my inputs were valuable.

We were asked to consider 3 verdicts

  1. Guilty of Second Degree Assault. Meaning he had intent, meaning he caused serious bodily injury
  2. Guilty of Third Degree Assault. Meaning he knowing caused bodily injury
  3. Not guilty. Not necessarily meaning he didn’t commit the crime, only there was insufficient evidence.

 

After hours of deliberation, we were sure of 2 things.

  1. The crime happened in the city and county of Denver on or around Jan 23, 2012 (this was never in dispute)
  2. the victim suffered serious bodily injury. With a broken face, a broken arm, 6 broken ribs and a punctured lung, this also wasn’t in dispute.

 

But… what we were unsure of, what we had no reasonable proof of, was who committed the crime. The only person who placed the defendant in the group of men who attacked him was the victim, who’s memory could have been affected by his head injury, the alcohol present in his system or a number of other things. When people are beating the living daylights out of you, people have a tendency to remember a face of a person they know, especially if the other people around you are unknown faces.

 

And because we were unable to determine who committed the crime, we were unable to determine intent or knowledge of a crime being committed. Because of this, we unanimously, the first time, voted he was not guilty on all charges.

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