Week33 – A change in the weather

13 – 19 Aug ’11

A week of summing up, deliberation, and snow. And the discovery that absence is no excuse.


After carrying out my duty as a citizen of this country to serve as one of the ’12 good men and true’, I have some thoughts that I need to share.  I need to get them out of my head so that I can sleep.

An open letter to all those involved in the Bacon trial (the jurors know who they are).

To the complainant, we believed you.  We all have no doubt that the account you gave is an accurate retelling of your memory of the events. We are sorry that you were so grievously injured, and we hope that you are able to get on with your life now in peace.

To the accused, you are guilty of violence.  We know that you are guilty. But we cannot say beyond reasonable doubt that you were ‘colonel mustard in the library with the candle stick’. It is our belief that the Universe will have its revenge.  Keep looking over your shoulder for Karma is surely out to get you.

To the lawyer for the defence, we saw through your smoke and mirrors.  Endlessly repeating mis-information does not make that information true.  Your red herrings and cocker spaniels did not distract us from the facts.  Parading busy-bodies and drugged up do-doggers is not a defence.  Bullying an expert witness does not do your client any favours.

To the lawyer for the prosecution, you did a fine job with the information you had.  Thank you for sticking to the facts, for presenting your case clearly and reasonably.

To the detective, we understand that real life is not CSI, but there was simply not enough.

To the twin registrars, thank you for making a trying experience bearable.  Your cool calmness and collection were helpful beyond doubt.  The chocky bikkies helped too.

And lastly, to my fellow jurors, the week we spent together will leave a permanent impression.  It is heartening to know that there are people such as yourselves in our community.  People willing to give up their regular routines for a time to help our society run as it should.  People who are reasoned and balanced in their thinking, who value life and livelihoods,  people good and true. I wish you all well as you return to your daily lives.

Snowfall and Rainbows

We deliberated for all of Monday afternoon and after we delivered our verdict to the judge, he informed us that there had been some changes outside while we’d been closeted in the jury room.  Disappointed – you’ve never seen 12 such disappointed people in one jury box.  We’d missed the promised snowfall.  We emerged from the courthouse to an eerie twilight, cars and buildings covered in snow.  It hadn’t snowed in Palmerston North for 80 years – and we’d missed it. The whole day had been emotionally draining,  by the time I got home I was worn out.

But Mother Nature was not finished with us.  More snow fell Tuesday night and Wednesday night.  By Thursday morning we had a really decent coating of the white stuff.  I just couldn’t help smiling every time I looked out the window.  The kids had a ball.

By Thursday afternoon the snow had pretty much all melted away.  And the rainbows came out.

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