November 4, 2010

I am done

With jury duty that is. Now that all's finished, I must admit that it was a worthwhile experience. There were a couple of things in my favor, I believe. For one, the case was not murder or manslaughter, or some kind of harming of (wo)men or beast (only the threat thereof), and I ended up with a great team of jurors. We all respected each other and each other's opinions, had some fun, and we were smart enough to choose the perfect jury foreman. We were able to work out our verdict (10 hour's worth) without anybody losing their cool, and be satisfied with the outcome.

The District Court treated us with the utmost respect, kindness, and courtesy (I already got my check in the mail today), and we were given the opportunity to speak with the judge and the lawyers after the verdict had been read. It was enlightening.

Now that it is over I can reveal that it was a human smuggling case. Here the smugglers are called "coyotes" and the smuggled people "pollos" (chickens). Being in southern Arizona this does go on. There were 2 defendants and each were indicted on 5 counts. On all but 2 of the indictments we were able to come to a unanimous guilty verdict. Unfortunately we only dealt with the 2 individuals running the "drop house", and of course there are additional people in the chain, from Nogales, MX to Tucson, AZ.

I learned a thing or two about our legal system, what the term "hostage" really means, and one of the jurors, who used to work downtown, took me to this great cafe for lunch one day. It is in the Tucson Museum of Art and is called Cafe a la C'Arte. It is very small, with indoor and outdoor seating in a beautifully sheltered courtyard. The food is fabulous, and I had to take Dan there today after we went grocery shopping. He agrees with me.

So I am done with the 11 hours away from home and driving 150 miles a day, but with a 9:30 am start and a 5:00 pm end of day it really was not too bad, thanks to Dan who had taken care of the WD and who had dinner waiting for me.

Now it's east to Texas on Monday for a couple of days because we missed La (Verne)'s birthday, which is today.

1 comment:

webb said...

Thanks for making your contribution to the smooth working of our democracy. Without each of us participating when called upon, it doesn't work.

Hope it will be a while before they call again.