What This Foreman of the Jury Thinks About Our Court System

justiceI was the foreman for a jury that just reached a verdict at the Supreme Court of Canada Ontario Superior Court of Justice. We deliberated for five hours yesterday before I read aloud our decision at the 361 University courthouse.

I've decided not to write about the actual case, primarily because I don't want to rank in Google for the accused's name. Although I can talk about the case, I'm sworn to secrecy with regards to what happened in the jury room, so I think everything will be easier and cleaner if I maintain a little anonymity here. Not ranking in Google for searches about the case will make that infinitely easier.

I will, however, comment on the process. It works. All twelve of us started deliberations yesterday morning with a clear and open mind and we wouldn't have had it any other way. The accused got the fairest trial possible. We were diligent, sensitive and conscientious throughout, ensuring we were all 100% comfortable with our decision before ceasing deliberations.

The case was quite sad, but riveting. For two weeks it completely drained me and I'm pleased it's come to an end.

The court staff treated us well, the judge gave clear and fair orders and we took the responsibility seriously. I didn't ask to be foreman, but when the other eleven jurors asked me to assume the role I chaired our deliberations to the best of my abilities. At the end of the day, I sincerely believe we made the right decision.

And that's what's most reassuring to me. Our judiciary system works.


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Comments (4 - click here to join in!)

Junior

Mike: Very refreshing to hear! I work in the system, and we often wonder how things are perceived by the 12 who get sent into the jury room. Good for you for doing your civic duty and participating in the system. It really does depend upon ordinary citizens making some sacrifices for the greater collective good.

BTW, just so you know, I think you probably mean the "Ontario Superior Court of Justice". The Supreme Court of Canada sits in Ottawa, and (almost without exception) hears appeals of cases decided by other courts, sitting without a jury.

September 24, 2010 @ 3:42 PM

The_Voice

My brother got summoned! And I've yet to be summoned.

But he's a student, and I think the summon dates are during midterm exams, so I'm not sure the likeliness of him requiring to attend. If it were summer months, it would be a different story, but I worry the university wouldn't accomodate for him, but I could be wrong!

September 24, 2010 @ 6:07 PM

Jill

I waited and I waited...I feel robbed!!!

September 25, 2010 @ 12:37 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I'll tell anyone via email!

September 25, 2010 @ 9:04 AM

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