Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Old 04-01-16, 03:45 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,535
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

I just got done with jury duty, and I have to say the experience has completely rewritten my view of cops -- they're even more incompetent than I thought.

The case involved a woman who got kidnapped, along with her daughter, by her psycho ex-boyfriend. He drove her around at knife-point for the better part of a day, threatening to kill her if she didn't get back together with him. She eventually managed to defuse the situation and got him to take her home.

The next day at work her boss noticed she had a cut lip where the psycho ex had punched her, and a scratch on her throat from the knife, and when he heard what had happened, he made her file a police report.

But the cops decided to play hot-potato with the case, using the fact that the ex had driven through multiple jurisdictions in two states as an excuse to pass the case around until finally the state police here took it on. The officer in charge of the investigation, though, did a half-assed job, relying on the police reports from the other state instead of interviewing the victim directly. The reports gave him enough details to identify the route where the ex had driven through, but naturally the out-of-state cops didn't have much interest in what had gone on outside their jurisdiction, so they hadn't questioned her in detail about what happened after crossing the state line.

When the state trooper got around to interviewing the victim eight months later, he found out that the ex had chucked her cell phone out the window somewhere, and that they'd stopped at a gas station and a McDonald's at some point. But by that time it was too late to ping the phone for its location, or to get any surveillance footage which might corroborate the woman's story. Which means that the only substantial evidence at trial was the victim's testimony and some pictures of her injuries.

Of course since the woman had talked to cops from multiple agencies, there were inconsistencies in her various statements, and since none of the departments did a very good job interviewing her, there were details that came out in her testimony that had never been mentioned before. The defense council of course pounced on these, trying to make her out to be a liar even though none of the problems were substantial (the biggest one was whether her ex punched her while they were driving or when they were pulled over in a parking lot). In fact, that was the entire defense -- since the entire case hung on the victim's testimony, he just tried to make her look untrustworthy.

I'm not supposed to talk about what went on during deliberations, but suffice it to say that in the end we found the victim's story compelling enough to override the dearth of any other evidence.

And then, after we delivered the verdict and were ready to get the hell out of the courthouse, the Judge dropped a surprise on us -- kidnapping is an automatic life sentence in this state, but the jury can opt to grant mercy, in which case the defendant would be eligible for parole after fifteen years. Nobody on the jury had realized that we were talking about that harsh of a punishment.

Thankfully the defense opted to let the defendant (who hadn't testified in the main trial) take the stand in a hope of swaying us towards leniency. Hearing him talk not only killed any lingering doubts we might've had about convicting on just the victim's testimony. Pro-tip: If you're ever facing life in prison, don't look at the jury and tell them, "I was planning to move to Colorado with a friend who was going to set me up with a new job, but you took that away from me." Once he said that, it's like, "Fuck this guy. He doesn't want to take any responsibility, and if he ever gets out of jail, her probably murder the victim, and hell, he might even come after us."

So asshole is now in prison for the rest of his life.
Old 04-01-16, 03:47 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Old 04-01-16, 03:57 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 13,988
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

The last time I sat on a jury, in 2013, the case involved a scuzzy stepfather who repeatedly molested his stepdaughter, then tried to say she was asking for it because she had an alter ego on Facebook that she used to flirt with boys.

I wish we could have sent HIM up for life. The girl was nine when he started and fourteen at the time of his trial.
Old 04-01-16, 04:16 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cungar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 21,642
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

What was the look on his face when they read the verdict? (My favorite part of a trial)
Old 04-01-16, 04:21 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
TheMovieman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 11,682
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
What was the look on his face when they read the verdict? (My favorite part of a trial)
Funny, whenever I watch stories on Dateline, 20/20, etc, usually it's a blank expression. I assume their attorney tells them not to show any emotions.
Old 04-01-16, 04:38 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 44,906
Received 38 Likes on 26 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
And then, after we delivered the verdict and were ready to get the hell out of the courthouse, the Judge dropped a surprise on us -- kidnapping is an automatic life sentence in this state, but the jury can opt to grant mercy, in which case the defendant would be eligible for parole after fifteen years. Nobody on the jury had realized that we were talking about that harsh of a punishment.
I thought Kidnapping was a federal crime, not a state one?

edit : Maybe that's only kidnapping when you cross state lines. O.J. got convicted of Kidnapping here in NV for a crime that never left his hotel room in Vegas.

Automatic Life sentence for a crime far less heinous than murder seems pretty harsh. If a divorced dad runs with his kids instead of returning them to their mother on Monday morning, that should be a crime, but an automatic Life sentence? I don't agree with that.
This case is different because a deadly weapon was brandished for a long period of time. Is that a perquisite for the life sentence, or is that every Kidnapping conviction?

Last edited by Decker; 04-01-16 at 04:58 PM.
Old 04-01-16, 04:46 PM
  #7  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Earth
Posts: 3,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

without the possibility of parole? Because this makes a big difference.
Old 04-01-16, 04:48 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cungar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 21,642
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by TheMovieman View Post
Funny, whenever I watch stories on Dateline, 20/20, etc, usually it's a blank expression. I assume their attorney tells them not to show any emotions.
This guy missed that memo

Old 04-01-16, 04:55 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
E Unit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Behind Wolf in the Situation Room
Posts: 13,784
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

I served on a petty jury once. Your story wins. The jury I was on made a 20 year old pay $500.
Old 04-01-16, 04:59 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 44,906
Received 38 Likes on 26 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by trespoochies View Post
I served on a petty jury once. Your story wins. The jury I was on made a 20 year old pay $500.


I'd happily pay 1/12 of the $500 judgement to NOT sit on a Jury.
Old 04-01-16, 05:19 PM
  #11  
Enormous Genitals
 
Bandoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a small cottage on a cul de sac in the lower pits of hell.
Posts: 33,238
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Damn. Thanks for sharing, Sean.
Old 04-01-16, 05:30 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Max Bottomtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Torrance, California
Posts: 4,781
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
And then, after we delivered the verdict and were ready to get the hell out of the courthouse, the Judge dropped a surprise on us -- kidnapping is an automatic life sentence in this state, but the jury can opt to grant mercy, in which case the defendant would be eligible for parole after fifteen years. Nobody on the jury had realized that we were talking about that harsh of a punishment.
Be fortunate the judge did that. I was on a murder trial once when our jury was deadlocked 11-1 for two days because one woman didn't want to see the defendant receive a life sentence. It took us two days to explain to her that we were only deciding guilt or innocence. Sentencing was up to the judge. She finally relented and we convicted the woman on trial.
Three women robbed a liquor store and even after getting away with a couple hundred dollars one of them returned to the store and killed the owner. Our defendant acted as the lookout and received a life sentence, the same fate the other two got.
Old 04-01-16, 05:43 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lower Gum Curve
Posts: 19,086
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

I only sat on one jury, and that was enough. And it wasn't even anything terribly serious, just fencing stolen merchandise at a flea market. We convicted, but I never found out what the sentence was (that hearing was about three months later).

I found the whole experience interesting, but it was much more stressful than I thought when we went in to deliver the verdict. I do not want to do that ever again. Can't imagine what it would be like for a really serious crime.
Old 04-01-16, 05:44 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lower Gum Curve
Posts: 19,086
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
And then, after we delivered the verdict and were ready to get the hell out of the courthouse, the Judge dropped a surprise on us -- kidnapping is an automatic life sentence in this state, but the jury can opt to grant mercy, in which case the defendant would be eligible for parole after fifteen years. Nobody on the jury had realized that we were talking about that harsh of a punishment.
That should have been made crystal clear during jury instructions. I would think a competent defense attorney could get that conviction turned over on appeals relatively easily.
Old 04-01-16, 05:56 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,725
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 4 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Well, I know I'll be sleeping just a little better knowing that this self-entitled asshole didn't get off... Who knows what people like this are capable of? He's not one I'd be putting my trust into, or giving a second chance to. Thanks for doing your job well, Sean, and seeing past his ramblings. Sadly, if the guy has any money at all, he probably will get some hotshot defense lawyer to overturn the verdict.
Old 04-01-16, 06:12 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 18,271
Received 15 Likes on 12 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I thought Kidnapping was a federal crime, not a state one?

edit : Maybe that's only kidnapping when you cross state lines. O.J. got convicted of Kidnapping here in NV for a crime that never left his hotel room in Vegas.

Automatic Life sentence for a crime far less heinous than murder seems pretty harsh. If a divorced dad runs with his kids instead of returning them to their mother on Monday morning, that should be a crime, but an automatic Life sentence? I don't agree with that.
This case is different because a deadly weapon was brandished for a long period of time. Is that a perquisite for the life sentence, or is that every Kidnapping conviction?
Sean says the guy kidnapped her and drove her through two states so I don't see how it wasn't a federal case.
Old 04-01-16, 06:41 PM
  #17  
Enormous Genitals
 
Bandoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a small cottage on a cul de sac in the lower pits of hell.
Posts: 33,238
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

My mom was on a jury in a high profile murder case in RI. A cop's ex-wife was murdered, and all the evidence pointed to a local drug dealer. After days of deliberation, the jury convicted the defendant and sent him to prison for the rest of his life (no death penalty in RI). The court staff told the jury they did the right thing.

A couple of years later investigators discovered evidence that proved that the ex-husband (state cop) killed the ex-wife, and some of that evidence was available at the time of the initial trial, but precluded.

My mom doesn't trust the legal system anymore.
Old 04-01-16, 06:57 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: US
Posts: 9,631
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
My mom was on a jury in a high profile murder case in RI. A cop's ex-wife was murdered, and all the evidence pointed to a local drug dealer. After days of deliberation, the jury convicted the defendant and sent him to prison for the rest of his life (no death penalty in RI). The court staff told the jury they did the right thing.

A couple of years later investigators discovered evidence that proved that the ex-husband (state cop) killed the ex-wife, and some of that evidence was available at the time of the initial trial, but precluded.

My mom doesn't trust the legal system anymore.
It would be nice if we could say this is shocking, but this doesn't surprise me at all.
Old 04-01-16, 07:10 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
TheMovieman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 11,682
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
This guy missed that memo

Haha, that's awesome.
Old 04-01-16, 07:23 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5,320
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 8 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

I've served on two juries. Actually three, but the first case was pled down after the first witness. It's not a fun experience, because for a case to actually make it to trial it usually means both sides think they have a shot at winning. I think there are very few "open and shut" cases that ever have a full jury trial.

My first was a DUI, where the defendant pulled the old "I wasn't the one driving the car" alibi, because the cops found her passed out at the wheel. She claimed she met a guy at a bar, was too drunk to drive so he drove instead, they got into a fight, he left, she got behind the wheel but went to sleep instead. Obviously a bullshit story, but it gets down to the "you can't prove I WAS driving" excuse. Guilty.

Second was a civil case. Woman rear-ends another woman and her son. No doubt about this, her fault. Woman and son have major health issues, can barely walk, constant pain. The problem? This woman and son both had pre-existing health issues, the son had bad scoliosis, could never be on his feet for more than 2 hours at a time. Of course, the plaintiffs' attorney was trying to show the son was a martial arts expert before, and the mom was a motorcycle fanatic. And the defense was painting them as invalids even before the accident.

Jury duty sucks.
Old 04-01-16, 07:38 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Tom Banjo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Auburn, AL
Posts: 3,759
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Fuck. I ironically got a call from my wife while reading this thread that I've been summoned for federal jury duty on May 9th. I just did state jury duty 2 years ago on a drug deal case. Spent 2 days there and the case was declared a mistrial because of cop negligence.
Old 04-01-16, 07:40 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
stvn1974's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,967
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

My shrink has gotten me out of Jury duty twice. I can't imagine having someone's life in my hands.

Last edited by stvn1974; 04-01-16 at 07:46 PM.
Old 04-01-16, 07:53 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 31,658
Received 17 Likes on 13 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Closest I ever got to jury duty was for a trial for a guy who was growing pot.

They filled the jury before they got a chance to interview me. They ended up paying me something like $40 plus mileage to sit in a courtroom for three hours.

If I made it to the jury I wouldn't have convicted him because I find people being prosecuted for victimless crimes to be reprehensible. I probably would have brought up jury nullification during voir dire.
Old 04-01-16, 08:35 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Land of the Lobstrosities
Posts: 10,300
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

I don't know if I could ever believe a single person's testimony to the point of being beyond any reasonable doubt.
Old 04-01-16, 09:02 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Troy Stiffler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Under an I-10 Overpass
Posts: 21,509
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: I Just Sent a Man to Prison for Life (Adventures in Jury Duty)

Originally Posted by SuperJim88 View Post
without the possibility of parole? Because this makes a big difference.
Yea. It definitely makes a difference.


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.