Friday, September 09, 2005

An Astute Kansas Jury

This just in from Roger L. Falk, of Wichita, Kansas:

"I had to write and share this with those who deal with prosecutors every day. I just got lucky and got a two word verdict in the above second degree murder case. Defense was self defense and my client shot the victim twice in the back.

"The judge went back to talk to the jury after the verdict, and the jury indicated to him that they wanted to talk to the lawyers. Usually, I hate to talk to the jury after a verdict, but the prosecutor was faunching at the bit to get back there and berate the jury for finding my client not guilty. So I decided to go on back and talk to them, to let them know that they had done the right thing. As soon as we got back there the following exchange took place between the Presiding Juror and the Prosecutor (who by the way was the Kansas District & County Attorney Association's "Prosecutor of the Year" for 2004, Kevin O'Connor):

"Presiding Juror: (with hand raised) I have a question for the prosecutor, if I may?

"Mr. O'Connor: (Excited that the jury wanted to talk to him and not defense counsel, after his defeat) Well of course you can?

"Presiding Juror: (Very sarcastically) I just wanted to know if you were a jerk all the time, or if it was just in the Courtroom?

"Mr. O'Connor: (Laughing nervously and squirming just a bit) No, most people would say I'm a jerk all the time.

"Presiding Juror: (To other 11 jurors) See, I told you so.

"This exchange between the jury and Mr. O'Connor, coupled with the NOT GUILTY verdict, and my Client going home with his family after spending 9 months in jail waiting for trial, made my day. I decided right then that I had a very astute jury."

Ah, how our self-images vary from reality! How many self-proclaimed legal geniuses have had jurors say similar things about them in the jury room?


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