The Day I Almost Served as a Juror

The Day I Almost Served as a Juror

I was summoned to court today.  I showed up this morning and then I was grouped with 65 people that were also summoned to court.

We were informed that we would potentially serve as jurors in court.  It wasn’t long before we were told we would be deciding on a case involving a man who was accused of child molestation.

We were told the girl was under 14.  They read the charges and he was accused of sticking a vibrator in her anus.

If convicted, it would be his third offense of a felony and he would serve a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of 99 years.  In Texas, we get to decide the length of time he would spend in prison if he was convicted.

The lawyers questioned us.  They asked if anyone was molested or had someone close to them that was molested and asked them if this would impact their ability to be impartial.  This removed over three quarters of the women.

One of the questions the prosecutor asked was “If there was no evidence of a crime except the testimony of the victim who was a minor at the time of the offense, would this stop you from convicting the guy of molestation?” 

Oddly, only one person contested it until they asked me individually.  I said “I would never convict a guy of molestation of a minor if the only evidence was the testimony of the victim especially if it was a minor.”

Apparently that was not the answer they were looking for.  But then every guy after me kept agreeing with my exact statement. After about five guys, the judge called a stop to the question and called the lawyers together.  They came back after the discussion and went with a different line of questioning.  The judge tried to correct my statement and told me that in Texas oral testimony is evidence and I should be willing to consider all evidence before making a statement like that.  I told her “With all due respect your honor, I will not convict a guy based on the testimony of one person especially if that is a minor.  I respect the law of Texas but you better have more than that.”

At the end, I was not selected and neither were any of the guys who agreed with my statement.  (I am allowed to talk about the issue now because I was released from jury duty).

Would you convict a guy of molestation if the only evidence was the testimony of the victim?


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