I had a DWI case set for trial this morning but it pled out at the last moment (which is bittersweet because that's a ton of prep gone down the tubes but with a result my client was happy with -- I even got a "fist bump".) Anyway, the back-up case that the jury is actually hearing is a misdemeanor marijuana case. Those don't go to trial very often, as they shouldn't, so this is a bit of a rarity. (I'll explain what's going on behind the scenes once it's over.) But, having dodge a trial, I sat around to watch jury selection hoping to learn something. In a word: Fascinating. Of probably 30 potential jurors, at least five said it should be legalized. One guy went so far to say, "We ought to legalize it and tax the hell out of it!" But almost everyone else, save two or three, said they did not have "strong feelings" about the marijuana laws with several saying, "I couldn't care less one way or another." That's pretty strong when most of the jury panel really doesn't care about the crime allegedly committed. One guy even admitted to using marijuana, and the vast, vast majority said they had been "in close proximity" to marijuana being smoked. Then, as the jury panel was being excused on a break, one of them looked at me and said, "If you get caught with the s&^%, just fess up and do your time. Maybe I was raised different than everyone else." Power. Down. (Since one of the issues is whether the marijuana was a "usable amount" as required for prosecution. I believe the evidence is going to show it was .06 grams.) Jim Shaw is the defense attorney. I might have been the only one, be he entertained the heck out of me. Edit: A mistrial was declared after one of the craziest developments I've heard of. More later.
at 11:39 AM