Friday, July 31, 2009

Grand Jury and Court Experiences

Back in the 90's I was selected to sit on the Federal grand jury down at the Federal Building in the second largest city in Michigan. With the grand jury, you don't appear for one trial as with regular jury duty, but you attend one day a month for a period of several months.

Another difference many people may not be aware of is that on a grand jury you will only hear the prosecution's side of the case and then try to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial. Basically it's a joke because you are only hearing one side and then trying to make an informed decision.

If a witness does happen to have an attorney, the representative can't even come in the room but waits in the hall outside while his client is questioned. The joke we heard many times was that grand juries would even convict a ham sandwich and we learned that to be pretty much the case.

Most of the cases during my experience seemed legit including a murder during a bank robbery and a tax evasion case. However, if I knew then that juries had the right to nullify laws, the tax case would have been a good candidate for that. But it wouldn't have done any good because the other jurors were of the opinion that, if they had to pay taxes, so should the defendant.

The one case that portrays best the kangaroo type atmosphere during my experience was this. There was a robbery at a store in a small adjacent town. Prosecutors paraded in witness after witness with "evidence" pointing to the alleged culprits and made it look like an iron clad case against them. The next time we met, prosecutors brought in other witnesses pointing to a different defendant.

With no one mentioning the original defendant, we wondered what was going on. Later we found out that, after all of the evidence previously presented, it turned out that they were wrong and the person had nothing to do whatsoever with the robbery. But the one sided presentation put on would never have hinted at the fact that it was a totally unrelated person that, in fact, committed the crime.

So, that's an example of the corrupt jury system and how innocent people can easily get convicted, and do probably on a daily basis. And the talk about judges with the God syndrome is a reality that I have seen on several other occasions. One of them, Rockford District Judge Steven Servaas, sits a few miles away in the next town over from here. Although he has been known to have broken laws and sexually harassed employees, he still holds his position.

If you happen to go before him for a minor traffic violation such as I did, don't count on getting your evidence in. He'll just disallow it and make up some reason to get you to pay the fine plus tack on an extra fine for your efforts. If that's not enough, he will bully defendants and try to ridicule them in the court room. Maybe a condition of his clinical depression, which causes paranoid and suicidal thoughts. But the sheeple keep voting him in and have made him the longest standing district judge in the State. No wonder the country is in the shape it is.
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  1. I had to sit in front of a grand jury some years ago. Never knew that they did not hear the other parties side, but what ever I said must have been convincing enough because he pled out. That or they did not think they would actually contact the only witness of the incident.

  2. Was on a jury man was that hard.

  3. I was on a regular jury but it was a slam dunk because experts proved a man set fire to his own house. The insurance company won and didn't have to pay. It was shown where he tried to burn the electric box and poured excellerants around.

  4. Great story, thanks for being so honest. It's sad, innocent people get imprisoned all the time whole the real preps run free to commit more crimes.

  5. Thanks Tricia. I know from when I worked in a prison 10 years. And then if they try to tell anyone that they are innocent, people say "yeah sure, that's what they all say".