JWG (jwg) wrote,

A week and half of paid vacation courtesy of Middlesex County

To continue my trial story...

One day, about four weeks into the trial, we were waiting in the jury room and one of the jurors was called out to go to the court room. A few minutes later we were all shepherded into the court room and the judge explained that we were going to be sequestered. It seems that one of the jurors was seen talking to the father of one of the accused (I think the stabber) so she was removed from the jury and we now down to 14.

We were given a couple of hours to go home and pack up stuff and to return to the Hotel Sonesta ① which was a couple of blocks from the court house. We had essentially one floor of a wing with a common room and each of us had our own rooms. We registered anonymously and there were several court officers staying with us. In the common room there was a TV and the court officers controlled what we watched - no news, no lawyer/court shows, etc. They checked the newspapers before we were allowed to read them. The TVs had been removed from our room and the phones were blocked from outside calls. If we made phone calls a court officer listened in. This was before the days of cell phones - I suppose we wouldn't be allowed to have them and I don't know about lap tops - I didn't have one although I think someone did. I wonder what they do these days about wireless - although I think sequestration is pretty rare.

I brought plenty of books to read. A couple of days later Robert sent over Xerxes and Balboa ②. There was a pool in the hotel and we went there a couple of times. The hotel restaurant was Davios, a pretty swanky restaurant (recently replaced) but after several dinners there we complained that it was too fancy and rich and we got to do takeout or go to restaurants for dinner. Legal Seafoods, the Royal East...

The court officers were very nice. A couple of times they allowed us to go to the nearby mall cautioning us to talk to no-one. They were not by our sides every minute during this field trip. One afternoon we were taken to a movie (no, it wasn't 12 Angry Men)

We jurors had already spent lots of time together since much of the time during the trial is spent in the jury room while the court is in minor recess or there are conferences with the attorneys, etc. But now we spent much more time with each other. The jury was a pretty good bunch of people - there was one overbearing guy that people didn't like to much but overall everyone got along together quite well.

Shortly before deliberation one of the jurors was heard by a court officer talking to her husband, an attorney, about the case. She was removed from the jury and then we were down to 13 jurors.

① An odd thing about the Sonesta was that a few years prior to this its phone number was 491-3600 whereas our work phone number was 491-6300 so we used to get calls at work for hotel reservations; several times when I answered the phone after hours I was tempted to take the reservation request. I don't know if they got phone calls about Multics.

② Xerxes: lion and Balboa: elephant who are boy friends. These people had also gone on a management training course with me - they didn't attend the sessions; that would have been Teddy since he is the person in-charge when we are not at home and is always asking for more training courses and other perks.
Tags: trial

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