Monday, August 9, 2010

Twelve County Supervisors

A man from a small midwestern county was arrested for his fifth OWI while out on bail and driving with a revoked license. The DA believed this was a slam dunk case; however finding twelve acceptable jurors became a seemingly impossible task. Everyone on the jury pool had to be excused because they were either a relative, business partner, personal friend, hunting buddy, fishing pal or drinking companion of the accused.

Frustrated by this situation the Judge instructed the bailiff to go downstairs to the County Board room where a County Board meeting was in progress. He demanded the bailiff bring back 12 County Supervisors who would sit on the jury. Both the DA and the defense lawyer were astounded that the judge took such decisive action however both were glad the trial could now proceed. When the bailiff returned with 2 County Board Members the judge informed them that they were being sequestered as jurors and they were expected to be unbiased in rendering a fair verdict. The trial finally began.

A preponderance of evidence was presented against the accused yet the trail lasted just under 30 minutes. It was clear to everyone in the courtroom that the defendant was definitely guilty of his fifth OWI. After the Judge sent the Jury (the empanelled County Board Members) to jury-room to deliberate he began to clear off his bench as everyone anticipated a quick verdict.

After five hours passed the Judge was out of patience and asked the bailiff to go down to the Jury room to find out how things were going. When the bailiff returned, the Judge asked, "Well are they close to reaching a verdict?" The bailiff shook his head and said, "Your Honor, they’re not even half way through the nominating speeches for the position of Jury foreman!"

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