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View Diary: Former Texas DA could face criminal charges for withholding evidence (51 comments)

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  •  Well, anyone who doesn't understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    third Party please
    far too many jurors don't understand that just because you get arrested, it doesn't mean you're guilty-- either of the charge they are considering, or anything else.
    this, either hasn't been paying attention in court, had a lousy judge or incompetent defense attorney. Typically this is gone over a number of times during trail.

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 11:37:36 AM PST

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    •  I recall jurors voting G (6+ / 0-)

      Because it was Friday and they wanted to go home-- and not have to come back on Monday.

      And I am quoting now-- well, I thought he was probably not guilty, but I voted guilty bc everybody else thought he was.

      I excused myself before I committed an act of violence.

      Oh, and the judge didn't seem to care when I told him.

      I must be dreaming...

      by murphy on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:27:27 PM PST

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    •  I was once the jury foreman in a case... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, FarWestGirl

      where a man was on trial for manufacturing meth.

      The sheriff's department was awful.  The police was called because someone reported this man had meth and a gun (prior convicted felon).  They arrested him at his brother's house where he lived in the garage on a cot.  The owner of the house, his brother, still had tools and other possessions filling the garage.  When searching the garage, they found several items used in the manufacture of meth, several items with meth residue, about 1 ounce of marijauna outside the garage in a barrel and a pill bottle full of marijauna seeds.  They claim the defendent had $1,200 in small bills on him but no one admitted to finding it (only two cops searched him and each said someone else found it).  Since the brother and the nephew who both testified for the defense and both appeared to be drug users themselves, there was no way to definetively say it was the defendents drugs or equipment.  

      Everyone thought the case against him was sketchy at best.  How could we say he wasn't just sleeping there and everything belonged to his family?  We did convict him though and he is now serving fifteen years in prison and here is why.

      The defendent was mentally troubled and we all felt sorry for him.  He was schizophrenic and had a low IQ.  He was prone to bizarre outbursts in the court room and said he spoke to his dead father who would suddenly appear walking through the walls.  Keep in mind that this dude was probably 6'5" and the scariest person I have ever seen.  It was clear that he knew about the drug manufacturing going on (even if we couldn't prove he was doing it) and the fact this guy was carrying a gun in our small community was terrifying. This man needed to have someone care for him, needed someone to keep guns out of his hands and needed someone to make sure he took hi medication.  This was not going to happen in this society.  We were torn between letting this person go and being afraid of some kid getting killed with it on our conscious or convicting someone of something we didn't feel the prosecution proved he did.  We convicted him of possession of marijuana (for the pill bottle of seeds) and that was it.  We did not know that this was his fifth drug related conviction (he had spent 9 years in prison for the manufacture of meth before) and he took a plea for the gun charge of fifteen years.  I can only hope that he is getting help in prison.  

      I think we did the right thing even if we did not truly believe the court proved its case. We actually were afraid they were going to give him time served for such a minor offense. I never thought I would make a decision like that.  I can now see how people think they have to get this person off the streets even if they are not sure about their guilt.  I did not want this person walking the streets were children played carrying a gun, high on meth having hallucinations.  We had the capacity to stop it and we felt justified in making our decision.  We wanted him to be taken care of but more importantly, we wanted him gone.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 02:36:27 PM PST

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