Friday, June 25, 2010

Envy

I drove up to the mailbox, just like I do every night. I stuck my arm out the car window and deep into the recesses of the box. I speculate, as I do every night, as to how long the mail carrier’s arms must be. The letters, magazines and junk mail are always shoved up against the back of the box to the point where I have to open the car door and half step out so I can reach all the way back there.

I take a moment to drop the mail into my lap and glance through it before I step on the gas and drive the car into the garage. I never bothered to bring the recycling bins back to the house, and I leave the car so I can recycle the junk mail rather than bring it into the house.

And then I saw it; an envelope addressed to Todd with the “US District Court” on the return address. I tipped the envelope so I can see into the window, but I already know what it is. It’s the same survey I had to fill in when I was selected for jury duty. Jealousy washed over me—how I would love to serve on jury duty again. After Todd watched me go through it, he is interested in serving as well. However, because he is busy running his business and employing other Rhode Islanders, I suspect he won’t have the time. Which is a shame. He’d make an awesome juror.

My stint as a federal grand juror officially ended in April, but because we still have 3 cases pending my jury has been extended. We haven’t been called back in to hear any more testimony. But the extension is due to end in October, and I wonder what will happen to those three fascinating ongoing cases. Will we finally get to finish them? Will another jury have to re-hear everything from the beginning? Will we get extended again? Will the cases be dropped?

I am pretty sure that one of the three cases will likely be dropped, if it hasn't already. At the very beginning of each case, the Assistant US Attorney prosecuting the case tells us what the charges are and what laws the target of the investigation is suspected of breaking. As we heard testimony we hadn’t heard any of the witnesses say anything that suggested that the target had done what he was accused of doing. Unless the attorney brings in a witness who shows us that this person has committed the crime it’s unlikely that it will result in an indictment.

But there are still two other cases, and they are strong. On one of them we had already returned an indictment, and I’d read in the paper that indictment resulted in a guilty plea. The man we indicted will likely serve 10 years in prison. There are still other parts of the case that the witnesses are still fleshing out for us, and I cannot wait to get back into that deliberation room to hear more.

This morning Todd was reading the letter from the court. I know he wants to serve. I know he wants to give something back to our country. But I know that he’s already over extended as it is.

I am green with envy.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Taoist Biker said...

I admit, I've enjoyed jury duty in the past and I'd leap at the chance for grand jury duty.

June 25, 2010 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Beej said...

I am telling you TB, it was AWESOME! Every other week I got to hear a story. So cool!

Though I've heard that state grand juries go every day for a few weeks, while I had to go every other week for 6 mos. I think I like the way the feds do it better.

June 25, 2010 at 2:02 PM  

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