To a certain degree O/T:
I am not doubting you, just jumping off from your post.
I know from personal experience that being on a jury can be surprisingly intimidating to the point that one might not behave in real life as they believe they would hypothetically.
I am a perfect example of this.
I was a juror on a federal case regarding whether someone was guilty of smuggling drugs across the border. The man was caught red-handed at the border with the drugs hidden in his car. Not even the defense disputed that.
The defense was SODDI: his car had been in the shop, so smugglers planted the drugs there intending to have him followed across the border and the drugs retrieved afterward, all without the defendant knowing. This scenario not being completely unheard-of, as I later found out.
The defense presented no receipts or proof at all that the car had actually been in said shop, but we were told that this is typical of the way such transactions are conducted in Mexico in contrast to what we are used to here.
When we went into the jury room, I had no doubts whatsoever that the man was guilty and the defense's case consisted of nothing more than obfuscation and attempts to plant doubts based on no evidence whatsoever.
I figured (back in my halcyon days before I discovered Websleuths, LOL) that everyone else would see it as I did and we'd be out of there in a couple of hours.
Much to my surprise, I was in the minority for guilt! 9-3 as I recall. By the end of that day's deliberations, the vote for acquittal was 11 to 1 and I was the 1.
I was quite disgusted to see at least one juror who was willing to vote with the majority no matter what it decided, just because she didn't want to be there in the first place and just wanted to go home. The fact that a man's future was in her hands apparently wasn't an issue. :facepalm:
I held out to continue the deliberations the next morning. On the way home was the worst traffic jam I have ever seen in San Diego since I moved here in 1997 and all I could think about was how those other jurors must be cursing me stuck in that traffic because had I just given in, they would have already been home.
I was so distraught I hardly slept that night, I kept getting up and making notes to support my argument. When I presented these points the next day I was more or less shouted down. Not literally shouted down, people were civil, but I was so tired by that point that my thinking was so muddled I couldn't make a clear and cogent counterargument to them. So it became obvious I had a choice: cave in or deadlock the jury.
I am not proud of this, but I caved.
Besides being so tired from lack of sleep by that point that I couldn't even think straight to counter their arguments, I had also formed the impression during the trial that the accused was basically a good, honest person who fell into business difficulties and saw the drug run as a one-time opportunity to earn a quick infusion of cash to help alleviate his own financial woes.
So I rationalized to myself that he had learned his lesson and would never again try anything so stupid and not much would be gained by sending him to prison.
Also he was clearly not a hardened criminal; he looked terrified every day of the trial and was visibly trembling when asked to stand up to hear the verdict. Also his wife attended every day and his former employers testified to his hard-working, honest nature.
So although I felt he was guilty, I was intimidated by numerous factors to going along with the majority rather than being the one standout who deadlocked the jury. In fact, I just remembered that we sent a message to the judge saying we could not reach a verdict and he told us to go back and deliberate some more.
As I said, I'm not proud of that. I should have stuck with my guns. But in retrospect too I see that if my interpretation was correct, and he just did this to earn a quick fast chunk of cash as his one illegal act in life (he had no prior criminal record), nothing good would have been accomplished by sending him to prison.
Particularly also considering the drug in question was marijuana, which although I don't indulge in, I also I don't consider too harmful to society at large. Had it been meth, or a case involving murder, I like to think I wouldn't have caved so easily.
Long winded logorrhea just to say like anything else, one never knows what one will do in a situation until actually faced with it.
Thanks for reading to anyone who has made it this far. :blushing: