I recently spent the better part of two months fulfilling my civic duty serving as juror and foreman on a gang murder case.
In late February I was called upon to serve my civic duty as a juror. Many of us Americans receive this notice in the mail and cringe at the need to serve jury duty. We put the notice away for a later date to wait and when the time comes call in to see if our number is in the pool of prospective jurors to show up on Monday morning at the courthouse. We hope that our number is not called and we can go about our normal routine. My number was called and I had to show.
Upon sitting in the jury room most of the day, it was announced that we were being selected for a gang murder trial which was expected to last six weeks or more. The next several weeks included a week long jury selection (of which I was the last seated juror picked), several weeks of trial and completed with four days of Jury deliberation as the jury foreman.
This story is about the entire trial process from a juror’s perspective and the challenge of balancing family life, work schedules and functioning as a juror on a gang murder trial. As well as the difficulties and frustrations with the court system and the struggle to convict someone “beyond a reasonable doubt”
The trial involves a high ranking Sureno gang member charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, and being an active member in a criminal street gang. There were four gang members being charged for the crime but we were only focused on one member. The charge was related to a shooting of a young man (not gang affiliated) who was mistaken for another target. The man on trial was also an FBI informant and possible Mexican Mafia associate.
This book will take you along the journey of an exciting and often frustrating trial that lead to an unexpected conclusion.
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