Reader Scott Milner writes:
Just a quick note to let you know that the drum you’ve been beating for awhile has had some affect on at least one of your readers.
I got called for jury duty this week. The case involved cocaine (possession, delivery and trafficking). Testimony took most of yesterday with closing arguments happening first thing this morning. Shortly after a name was drawn out of a box to determine the alternate juror. Sadly, that name was mine. I would have acquitted via nullification on all counts and was absolutely looking forward to sharing the story with you…
The state’s case was interesting for a number of reasons but I won’t bore you with the details unless you ask. For whatever it’s worth though I want to thank you for helping me develop some courage and convictions regarding the insane war on drugs and hope that at least one of the other 12 of my peers shares similar sentiments.
Didn’t happen that way. Scott emailed me again this evening:
Well, I just got a call from the judge’s secretary. The jury found the defendant guilty on the charge of trafficking. I didn’t ask about the possession or delivery charges… my assumption is that The State was happy to get the trafficking charge and so didn’t request the jury to deliberate on the possession or delivery charges. Or perhaps it’s simply that the trafficking charge was the big one and it became irrelevant as to whether or not a guilty verdict was returned on the other two charges.
I’m disappointed but not surprised. Another person goes to prison despite not having hurt, stolen from or in any other way caused material damage to another. Despite some conflicting and inconsistent testimony from the narcotics officers, and the inability of the state’s forensic examiner to explain some specifics.
As I left I told the bailiff that I’d be happy if the defense counsel contacted me because I want him to know that I was ready to acquit on all charges and why I was prepared to do so.
More people like this, please.