Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Confusion, Anger, Fear

When people ask me, and oh have they asked me, what I thought or felt about the new developments in the Stevens Trial, i haven't been able to give a direct answer. Why?

Well, first because I wanted to wait until a decision was actually made. And it was, yesterday when Judge Sullivan dismissed the case. Secondly, because I am just too busy. Its holy week. I work at a church. We just downsized. I'm having problems with my computer. Lovely stuff. And thirdly, because I feel too much about the decision.

I'm a little confused. If the prosecution was so shitty, withholding evidence, making witnesses disappear, and forgetting to mention important meetings through out the trial, why was it not as important then? Why did the judge dismiss the defense's objections through out the trial as meaningless? While reading the articles after the trial I realized that all of those extra breaks we had as a jury was caused by some issue with the prosecution. So whats the difference between then and now? There's an FBI whistle blower. And non disclosing of information regarding FBI and prosecution interviews with witnesses and a saucy FBI agent wearing skirts. Was all this enough to throw out a conviction? Well, yes it was. But does it make Salmmy innocent? What evidence was withheld? Was it enough to make a jury find him innocent?

And this leads me to fear. I have always held that my fellow jurors and I found Salmmy guilty based solely on the evidence presented to us. There was work done at his house that he didn't pay for, and there were sizable gifts that he didn't disclose on his Federal Disclosure Form. Which is what we had to find him guilty or innocent for. What I fear is the unknown. Did the prosecution withhold evidence that shows that Salmmy paid for the work and therefore didn't have to disclose it on his FDR form in the gifts received section? Does the withheld evidence include other FDR forms where he very clearly listed the window, salmon statue, and massaging chair as gifts? I am afraid my verdict might be wrong based on the withheld evidence. Did I just convict an innocent person?

So this then, leads me to anger. You made me sit through a trial for a whole month, then made me come back and decide if a person was guilty or not just to throw that conviction out? For no other reason than that the prosecution was crappy? I know everyone deserves a fair trial and if the prosecution were doing a shitty job all along, which they were, dismiss the case then and there! I mean, I was mad before, having to put most of my life on hold as I went to the trial everyday and then go to work every night and sometimes on the weekend, but I was fulfilling my duty. Now it was all just a waste of time and the taxpayers money.

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