Doing the Duty

Captain’s Log    5,172

My federal jury service has ended.  It took longer to select the jury than it did to have the trial.  The defense rested after an hour of testimony of the witnesses called by the federal prosecutors.  Yup.  It took longer for the judge to read instructions to us than it did for the trial.  What was supposed to last 4-5 days lasted 4-5 hours.

I was juror #30.  I thought with a number that high I would not get selected.  But I did.  They excused three people ahead of me for language barriers and other things of that nature.  If the judge excuses you, it doesn’t go against the challenges the attorneys make.


The case was pretty cut and dried.  Some guy drove a car across the Calexico/Mexicali border with almost 35 pounds of illegal drugs jammed into the gas tank of his car.  The customs agent thought he was acting funny and pulled him into secondary inspection where a canine unit found the drugs.  Great noses on those dogs.  They can smell drugs even when they are stored in gasoline.

The guy also had $9,700 in cash.  $10,000 triggers an investigation if you deposit that in a bank, so most smugglers carry just under that amount.

He claimed he didn’t know how the drugs got in the car.  He claimed it happened when he went to the dentist – where he handed over his keys so the dentist could offer free detailing while he was at his appointment.  Bullshit.  Dentists clean teeth.  Not cars.  My dentist has NEVER offered to detail my car.

And so it was.  The guy has a gorgeous young wife and two beautiful kids.  But he should not have done what he did.  We surmised that he was a total patsy.  His load was worth about $300,000 or so.  While they were busting him, a multi-million dollar load was probably crossing without incident several lanes away because all attention was diverted to him.  If he made it over, great.  When he didn’t, the cartel probably wrote it off as the cost of doing business.

Anyway…we were shocked when the defense rested so soon.

It was a very interesting day and a half.  I am proud to do my civic duty.  I would do it again.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

13 responses to “Doing the Duty

  1. I don’t serve on juries anymore. I don’t have the mental capacity for it — I don’t retain things and I miss a lot of what people say (say what??). I would be the worst person to have on a jury…

  2. Patty O'

    A couple of things I learned in the jury pool: 1) If you are an elementary school teacher or a nurse you will most likely be excused. No defense attorney wants an accused pedophile of other molester confronted by an angry teacher or nurse. 2. If you are a medical researcher and are asked to explain what you DO on your job, changes are good the judge will excuse you on the grounds that what you do there is more important to society as a whole that what you might do in his courtroom. 3) New citizens WANT to serve on Jury Duty because they think it an honor and a privilege…which it is.

  3. I had the same experience…took longer to get the jury selected than it did for the testimony. We had already made up our minds by the time we had exited to the Jury Room to talk. Surprised the defendant’s attorney so we had to wait for them to get back from lunch before we were released to go home!

  4. I’m glad I’m not anyone’s peer.

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