We the jury found the defendant guilty of six of the seven things he was charged with. It was weird, after sitting through what felt like endless horrible testimony, hours of having laws explained to us, long lectures from the lawyers, and then finally we were able to go into a room and talk amongst ourselves. And then upon coming to a decision, we took off our "juror" badges and were able to have this gag order lifted from us and move on with our lives. I understand why they don't want jurors to talk about things during the trial, but I definitely felt like while it was all going on, that I could have used the emotional support, and would have liked to have the chance to unburden myself fully. As it was, I was walking around saying, this is very difficult, this is difficult for me.
What the defendant was accused of, what he did, was some number of sexual assaults, including raping his girlfriend (and mother of his children) on several occasions, and also terrorizing some young children and molesting one of them. It was really ugly, and even this sort of theory floated by the defense that he was on meth, that doesn't explain it at all. Listening to the rape victim testify was one of the hardest things in my life, though I realize that listening to her totally pales to her experience of having to live that, and having to retell it. Her mother was waiting for her in the back of the court room, and after she testified, her mother hugged her, and I kind of wished I could hug her to or at least say that I'm sorry that such a thing happened to her. I don't even know if there was justice in this verdict, don't know what his punishment was. But I was looking over at the defendant while she was speaking, and at one point, he laughed. Yeah, really charming dude.
Today was the first day I was back at work all day and it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I actually did feel a lot of emotions during the trial, and I felt like our deliberation process helped me deal with those emotions. It was interesting because I was one of only two women on the jury, and I did feel like maybe the men wouldn't really "get it" in the same way I did, but I think that most of them did. Though really, one or two were pretty skeevy, and a little misguided, but I think we all felt that sense of wanting there to be justice for what occurred, and horror for all the lives that were touched by this criminal behavior.
The one count we couldn't agree on, there was a lot of testimony negating that he did that, but I think that many people just wanted to believe that even if he hadn't done that particular thing, he did everything else, and probably would have done it. But you can't base your judgement on what someone "would" do, but what they actually did. I was wondering if the judge was going to hold us there until we all decided but it seemed like having a guilty on the other counts was enough and the judge told us it wouldn't make a difference in the sentencing.