2006/04/12

My favorite grand jury story

This story (from Newmark's Door, which I read because of John Chilton), reminds me of a very similar story that I have from my days on the Pitt County grand jury.

Let me back up and explain unless you don't know about the North Carolina grand juries. The county selects nine people every six months to serve a one year term on the grand jury (so there are always 18 people on the jury). The grand jury doesn't decide the guilt or innocence of people, but only whether there is enough evidence to approve the indictment and have the trial proceed. And since only the prosecutor presents evidence, the answer is almost always yes (which is why it is said that a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich).

So anyway, several years ago, I was called for jury for the first week of July, and got assigned to the grand jury. The basic procedure of the grand jury was that the jury foreman would call the arresting officer into the jury room, swear (or affirm) him in, and then asked him to tell what happened. Any member of the jury could ask questions, then the officer would leave, and we would vote to indict or not (I think that only two of more than a thousand were turned down that year I served).

Most of the case were really boring (about half were about drug sales), but there are a couple, like this one, that were really funny:

A lady left her house to go to work, and noticed that her pickup truck was gone from where she parked it. She went back in the house, called the police, filed the report, telling them that she is afraid that the crook might have found her emergency key that was magnetically stuck to the fender. They tell her that they would get back to her as soon as they found anything out and then leave. She calls a friend to see if she can give her a ride to work, then goes upstairs in her apartment to wait by the window for her friend.

Now her window is right over one of the main streets in town and by a stop light. While she is waiting, she sees her truck, and the shirt and pants of the guy driving, but not the face. So she calls the police and tells them that she just saw a guy wearing a blue shirt and brown pants driving her truck on such and such street. The police radio out to be on the lookout for a red pickup driven by a guy wearing these things near that street.

As the call goes out, this officer was driving past a parked red pickup with a guy matching the description getting out of the cab. So goes around the corner and waits for the guy to get closer, gets out of his car and starts to walk toward him to question him. Before he can say anything to the guy, he sees the officer and says...

"If this is about that stolen pickup, I don't know nothin'." Now, this is a really stupid thing to say. Especially when you have the key in your pocket.

Oh, and when we finally stopped laughing, we did indict the guy.

5 comments:

Dry Gin Martini said...

Hi there, this isn't related to this post, but I just went through your entire archived blog. It was really helpful in introducing me to AlAin. I have been looking for tourist sites but nothing was as informative as this transitional blog. I interviewed with UAEU for a faculty position in the chemistry department, and I will find out next week if I got the job. If I do get it, I am planning on accepting and making the move. It's very exciting!

GMJ said...

WOW. You are really that excited to join UAEU ? I work over there .. its nice, but depends on which campus u will be working at. i think my campus is the best ^_^

oh and nice post ^_^

Keefieboy said...

You had to be on that jury for a whole year? I hope they paid you a ton of money!

Brn said...

Hi LC,

Thanks for the compliment. Good luck with the job. I read a little bit of your blog and your job difficulties.

Al Ain Taxi said...

Where you gone?