Saturday, February 8, 2014
We have an unusual Saturday session scheduled for today, pursuant to the jury’s request, in the Michael
Dunn case. They also asked Judge Russell Healey to schedule a Sunday session, but he declined to do so. Evidently the jurors do not like being sequestered and want to get this trial over so that they can return to their normal lives.
I understand the fear that jurors beliefs regarding guilt or innocence may be tainted by outside influences, but I nevertheless believe that they are adults and we need to trust them and take them at their word that they will disregard and disengage from any situation in which their judgment may be tainted.
When they take the juror’s oath to well and truly decide the case according to the evidence and the instructions, they become officers of the court. I believe judges and lawyers should accord them the same respect that they accord to each other rather than treat them like potential juvenile miscreants who must be watched at all times. Therefore, I oppose sequestration in all cases, unless extraordinary dangerous circumstances exist that reasonably require protecting the jurors.
Such circumstances do not exist in this case or in any of the recent cases where jurors have been sequestered.
In Washington State where I practiced law for 30 years, the courts for the most part abandoned sequestration without the sky falling.
I would rather have a happy jury than an angry, impatient and resentful jury.
What do you think?
Court resumes at 9 am, EDT, which is about 40 minutes from now.
Get some coffee and join us for what should be an interesting day of testimony.
We will be live blogging the trial via live stream hosted at the Global Grind.
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