Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Guess Where I Was

I've answered the call and have done my civic duty for the next six years. That's right, jury duty. It's over now so I can talk about it. It was an eye opening case. The defendant was charged with assault in the 3rd degree and criminal mischief in the 4th. The judge made it clear that in order to convict we had to be positive beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The onus is completely on the prosecutor, the defense attorney doesn't have to prove anything. The defendant does not have to take the stand. In his opening argument the prosecutor stated we will hear from multiple witnesses and police officers and see photos of the scene.

First, the cast of characters

D is the defendant.

V is the victim.

W is a witness

H is the husband of D.

All we know about D is that she married H in 2005. We don't know how old she is or if she has any children. She allegedly committed the crime against V and don't know if she has any prior arrests.

V is 27 years old and has seven children, the oldest being 13 years old. Three of those children are fathered by the husband of D. He doesn't see said children and does not help support them. We don't know how old his children with V are. V has been previously convicted and sentenced to 3 years probation for harassing D and smashing her windshield. She also has a restraining order against her filed by D. She is unemployed.

W is a witness called by the prosecution. We had a delay in the trial because she was in another courtroom on business of her own. She has been arrested 10 times and may have had a child by this same man.

V's story:
Early one May morning at 1:30 am, V was sitting on her porch with a bunch of people when 3 cars pulled up and 11 people got out. One of them was D. D and her cousin were climbing the stairs to the porch when V put her hand on the forehead of the cousin to push her down. At this time D had a straight razor and slashed her finger. V's mother pulled her into the house. As soon as she got in she heard a window break. She went over to the front door where D was breaking the door window. The falling glass cut her on the bridge of her nose and went all over her mother but didn't cut her. She went to the hospital where she received stitches, 5 on her finger, 2 on her face. So D is charged with assault and criminal mischief for breaking the window. V now has to have money taken out of her check from the Department of Social Services to pay the landlord for the window.
W is called to the stand and says that night just her and V were on the porch when all these people pulled up. D is coming up the front stairs and V puts her hand on her face to push her down the stairs. That's when D pulls the straight razor out and slashes V. V goes into the house and D continues up to the door with a hammer and breaks 6 windows and the glass cuts V.

That was it. That was the evidence presented to us. No police report, no pictures of the broken window(s) or receipts for new windows.No other witnesses such as the police, V's mother or any of the other 10 people that showed up. We adjourn to the jury room to deliberate. What we have are conflicting testimonies. Who was getting pushed down the stairs? My thought was if someone had their hand on my face I would not try and slice her with a straight razor since my face is right there underneath her hand. V says her door window was broken, W says 6 windows were broken. V says there were a bunch of people sitting on her porch, W says it was just the two of them.

In the end we the jury found D not guilty on both charges. When it came down to it it was a case of she said, she said. There is no doubt that something went down that night but there was just no proof offered to show that D. did the deeds. At first I was shocked at all these details and wished I could see this man that is being fought over. I hope that they will now stay away from each other before someone really gets hurt.


Kitten Herder said...

Wow. It sounds like attending a public screening of a poorly-written soap opera.

No doubt all of them will be back in court for something or other in the next year. And H will probably father more children with other women before someone decides to use a straight razor on him to eliminate the motivation for future woman-on-woman violence.

Nobody™ said...

The really sad thing is that these low lifes are tying up the Justice system with crap like this.

tornwordo said...

Kind of sounds sad. Like low-life court.