Saturday, December 01, 2007

Would You Ever?

Notes from the Grand Jury box. Oh, how I wish I could tell you the details of the cases we heard today. I can't. But I can tell you that it was surreal. That something as serious as crime could be so blinking slapstick! Some of it is that most people who break the law do it in fairly stupid ways. Some of it is that this is such a small, isolated community that people don't normally have to be concerned about harm from their neighbors, and so even when committing crimes, they don't think of having to hide what they are doing. Some of it is that -- I'm not sure. You tell me.

If you had been arrested for a crime in a fairly public place and charged and were now out on bail awaiting trial, if you had done all that, would you then go and commit the same crime in the same place in front of the same people who watched you be arrested last time?

How about stealing an object over 40 feet long that can only fit outdoors from a spot where it is seen daily by the families that live in six houses (and thus will be missed very quickly indeed) and taking it less than ten miles and plunking it down in full view of thousands of people? How about in full view of the State Office Building, where most people in the area work? How about when the police came to arrest you a mere three hours after you took it, would you then claim that you had owned it for several years? Would you do that if it was one of under a hundred that looked like that in the world? If it were the only one of that model in the state? This one was so bizarre -- it was recovered before the owner realized that it hadn't drifted off, but had been stolen, and two of the grand jury members had witnessed the arrest (the plunked down spot was sooo very public) and had to excuse themselves from listening to the case.

What if the police came to your door because several of your neighbors had called about the sounds that were being produced inside and you were totally unbruised although your shirt had been torn and there was a person with a bruised face and what one of the police describes as "standard choking bruises" and scratches on the neck and a four year old was crying and telling the police, "A hurt B." Would you then try to convince the police that B had beaten you?

And if you got through airport security in one city with contraband, would you then deplane for a cigarette during a layover with the contraband on your person and risk being caught when you tried to re-board?

Nope, I didn't think so. Me neither.

* Hermes, the god of theives, who obviously hasn't been very helpful in Juneau. Or Hoonah. Or Anchorage.


Alpaca Granny said...

good morning, my google alert just led me to your blog - I'm AlpacaGranny and you mention retiring to an alpaca farm. I have just spent the last 15 minutes enjoying and relating to your writing. Now I'm off to the barn to do morning chores....

joared said...

These stories are really incredible and all I can think is, "What were these people thinking?" Maybe that's the problem, they weren't.

Ginnie said...

I think that a huge majority of felonies are punks crying out for attention...of any kind. It's sad.

lilalia said...

It is fun that you left out the specific details, now I can use my fantasy to fill in the blanks. Except for the wife beating situation, that make for a lot of possible wild scenarios.

Bridget Magnus said...

I was in apartment management for some years, and in that capacity I sometimes had to go to court on my employer's behalf. In this particular jurisdiction, the Justice of the Peace heard both eviction procedings and small claims. These weren't even criminal matters, and yet the stupidity of humans is amazing.

It is clear how shows like "Cops" and "Judge Judy" came to be.