Because Everybody Is Entitled To My Opinion

"O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, . . . in wrath remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:2).
"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85:6)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

12 Angry Men and Two Alternates (Part Three)

The defense has only one witness and it was Lola. She obviously was told what to wear and didn't own it judging by the fact her jacket was several sizes too large. She was definitely more calm on the stand than her mother. She mentioned church and her pastor and her boyfriends' belief in strong family as reasons she wanted to mend fences with her mother. She repeated the events of the night in question but explained that Lulu became agitated at the questioning and attacked her. She defended herself and fled with her daughter to her boyfriend's house where she was picked up and charged with OVI. The prosecutor went straight for the jugular on cross examination, revealing Lola's work as a stripper. He also got her to admit she did professional fetish work. I guess she got paid to stick her feet in some guys face while wearing leather and latex is what came to my mind. She didn't elaborate too much.She had a professional name, Trinity something or other. She had a website too that the prosecutor had a screen scrape of but the judge wouldn't allow it to be shown to us. She said she hadn't done that type of work in quite awhile.

So the defense rested, both sides gave closing arguments and then the judge explained what we had to do. It was all very clear and typed out for each of us to read once we started deliberating. Lola was presumed innocent. The state had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Lola committed Domestic Violence against Lulu. We were all in agreement that the State did so. Lola claimed self defense so she and her attorney had to prove self defense with a preponderance of evidence. That means when weighed against the states evidence, there were more things showing self defense than not. Our initial vote was 8 not guilties, 1 guilty and 3 undecideds. Each juror in turn then explained there feelings and thoughts on the case. We all agreed that neither witness was credible. So how do we decide what happened?

Remembering how agitated Lulu got during questioning and how aggressive she was on the stand, we felt she could have very easily exploded at the accusation that she was some kind of madam. Then we remembered that both of the police from Lola's boyfriend's community mentioned that she said "Even drunk, [Lola] can defend herself". Why would she say that unless she had to defend herself? She didn't know that Lulu had called the police on her. She had know way of knowing she was going to be up on Domestic Violence charges so she wasn't trying to position a defense at that time. So we the jury decided that Lulu attacked Lola and she defended herself. We found her not guilty. She broke down and cried.

After the verdict we returned to the jury room and the judge came in and answered questions. He had a couple too. When he was finished both the prosecutors and the defense attorney came in for questions and answers. It was an incredible experience and I recommend every body sit on a jury when your time comes to serve.

No comments: