Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jury Duty: The Verdict

Did you know that you can access trial information for free on the internet?
Is this a great country or what?
The verdict: Guilty.

The jurors deliberated part of Friday and on Monday. The verdict was announced yesterday. But, the plot thickens. All of the charges were dismissed except one:

I think the judge dismissed the attempted murder charge before the start of the jury trial. I remember hearing attempted murder mentioned when we were being chosen and I thought I was going crazy when I never heard it again. They never explained.
So the big attempted assault charge was dismissed and so were the reckless endangerment, and the other possession charge, which is just possession of a loaded weapon (paging Franz Kafka here -- confusing).
The verdict makes sense. The prosecution did not prove he fired the gun, but it showed he possessed one.
Here's the deal with this verdict. The definition of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree:

As a lawyer's blog explains:
If one possesses a loaded firearm outside their home or business, the charge is Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree a “C” felony which carries a mandatory minimum 3 ½ year to a maximum 15 years in state prison.
I think the judge was a very fair, avuncular guy. I'm curious to know for how long is he going to stick this guy in the slammer.
I would think that the count of reckless endangerment could still hold, no? 

I think it shows depraved indifference to human life to turn your busy city block into the OK Corral for the purposes of securing your drug turf. Anyone who is not the police or the army has no business carrying a weapon, as far as I'm concerned.
I hope I run into one of my fellow jurors on the street one day so I can get the juicy details, since I did not exchange information with anybody. And I will be checking the trial page for the sentencing terms. I believe sentencing is set for August 12.

In case you haven't noticed, I love this shit. 

1 comment:

  1. The sentence that the judge gives this guy will probably have a lot to do with whether or not he has prior convictions, and for which charges. The worse and more numerous his charges are, the harder the judge can throw the book at him. On the other hand, the fact that they threw out all of the other charges against him points to the weakness of the prosecution's case, and it would be unusual for the judge to be harsh here. I would remind you that this guy seems like very small fry, more stupid than he is dangerous (although stupidity can often lead to danger) and if drugs were legal none of you would have wasted your time on all of this. There are something like four times as many people in prison in the U.S. today as there were in 1970. Most of them are there for drug-related crimes. (I grant you that possession of a weapon is not strictly a drug-related crime, but since this guy is obviously a petty drug dealer, you can argue that his possession of the gun is drug-related.) There are serious criminals out there. Your guy is not one of them.