Jury Duty

may 9, 2013

My jury duty ended this morning with the District Attorney dismissing the charges against the defendant. While I can discuss the case, I'm not going to -- it was a very tragic case which I do not want to rehash.

What I want to say is that after this trial, I have a higher appreciation of the US judicial system, how it works, what it does, and why it has to do what it does. I appreciate what the judge, the DA and the public defender did. They showed why "innocent until proven guilty" is not only important, but necessary. I commend all of them for the work they did and the work that they will continue to do.

The public defender in this case, whom I did not know was a public defender until after the case was dismissed, was the one that really impressed me the most. She defended her client with tenacity and conviction. She fought hard for her client's innocence. For the whole trial, she did her job so well that I thought she was a high-paid private attorney. She completely changed my view of a public defender -- I had the stereotype in my head (which was based on countless TV shows and movies) that public defenders were lazy lawyers who are just there to help people plead out their case. This stereotype is completely false and I give many kudos to her for doing such an excellent job.

For those of you who moan and groan when you receive the juror summons in the mail, I can tell you that while it was a hard two-and-a-half weeks for me -- from jury selection all the way through the first two witnesses and finally to the dismissal of the case -- the whole experience was worth it to see the US legal system in action. It was a privilege to be on the jury panel.