Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Jury duty - well worth while

I've just completed a short stint as a juror on a criminal trial here in NSW.

On several occasions in the past I've been called and have either got out of it or not been balloted. This time it was all go.

The case was a federal crime, importing drugs into the country. I think the jurors all felt deep sympathy for the defendant and the predicament he'd ended up in.

Out of this experience I have gained respect for the legal system, the police, barristers and most of all for the ability of 12 citizens, chosen at random, to work together to decide facts that will have a major impact on someone's life.

Parts of the process were a little tedious, sometimes gross, but always enlightening.

We've all seen way too much court room action on TV, it wasn't like that at all. We all took notes and back in the jury room it was a bit like a comprehension test where we gently formed a view on what we had seen and heard.

In the end we found the defendant guilty without too much deliberation, but as we said our farewells outside we all wondered what would become of this poor man.

No comments: