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COURT DUTY
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COURT DUTY©

As this movie begins we see mailpersons delivering the mail across the United States. And then we see here and there across the U.S. jury duty letters being put into mailboxes. We then enter into an apartment of a man who is a small time crook. We will call him Robert. He is tired of making little scores from his robbing. He thinks for several weeks then gets a multi million-dollar robbery scheme. He clicks his computer mouse on his computers Work Perfect then types the details of his plan. Next, he stores it in his computers documents folder. Whenever he needs to review or improve his sinister plan he returns to his computers documents folder then does either of the mentioned.

As his visualization of the plan unfolds he realizes that partners will be needed, so he telephones the other small time thieves he knows telling them about his multi million-dollar robbery plan. Every crook he calls refuses to have anything to do with his plan because they are going to have to carry guns. None of them are willing to have to spend the rest of their lives in prison because they shot and killed someone. And not one of them like the idea that if caught for this type of crime they would have to spend up to thirty years or even longer in prison. They all tell Robert that they are just small time crooks and his scheme is too big for them.

Continuing to research his million-dollar robbery plan and being very frustrated, he mumbles to himself as he checks his mailbox. Seeing several letters he removes them, locks the box and then returns to his apartment. Going through the mail he sees a court letter, opening it he reads the following, "You must appear for jury duty at the county courthouse, (the room number and then the address is stated) on this date." He calls the telephone number listed at the top center where the letterhead is. A female operator answers the telephone saying the name of the courthouse room he called. He tells the woman, "I received a letter stating I must report for jury duty," he gives the date (this is three weeks in the future). He continues, "Is there any way I can get out from coming?" She asks him, "Are you disabled?" he replies, "No," she then asks him, "Are you ill and need to see a doctor? Or is there any other reason why you can not appear for jury duty besides the reason, you just do not want to come?" He again tells her, "No." She replies, "Then you must report or else a bench warrant could be put out for your arrest."

Realizing he must report he tells the operator, "Ok, I will come." He then asks her, "What type of trial is this going to be?" She tells him, "I do not know, when you come in on the date that you were instructed, you will then be told." After hearing this he sighs then thanks the receptionist and hangs up the telephone.

He continues to work on his robbery plan, but then Robert must put it aside for now, because the three weeks have passed and in just several hours he must be at the courthouse to meet his jury duty responsibilities. Walking from his home, getting in then driving his car, he arrives at the courthouse in twenty minutes.

Walking into the courthouse he shows a guard his summons then asks her for directions, these are given, he then finds the correct door and enters a large room. He approaches and shows a court worker the summons to appear for jury duty; quickly looking it over this person, then points in the direction of the public bench seating and tells him to take a seat. Robert thanks this person, turns, walks to, selects a seat then sits down. Looking around he sees about one hundred and twenty other people seated about him. Fifteen minutes after he sat down, a court clerk starts calling out names, less than a minute after this started Robert's name is called. Five minutes later the sheriff's officer then leads him and thirty-four other people to a different room; they all enter this other large room. The sheriff's officer looks at everyone and says, "Find the seat that has your name on it then please be seated."

After looking around for ten minutes the last person finally finds and takes their seat. Standing in front of the group, the sheriff's officer tells everyone, "The trial you may now be selected to be a juror for, will be a first degree murder and robbery trial." The defense lawyer is present (there is one) and so are the prosecutors (there are three of them). The sheriff officer suddenly say's, "All rise" as he then states the honorable judge's name. Right after the judge takes his seat the sheriff's officer tells everyone present, "You all may be seated." In front of everyone in the room is a large turning caged ball, the same seen and used at professional level bingo games. A court clerk begins turning it. Several seconds later he stops turning it, grabs and draws a small ball with a full name on it and reads it. This is done again and again until fourteen names are called.

During this proceeding Robert's name was not called. The defense lawyer challenges several of the selections and after the judge agrees, four jurors are excused. Therefore, the court clerk again turns the large caged turning ball and calls four new names. As this is being done, Robert's name is called. Now the prosecutors challenge the selections, they ask the judge to dismiss two jurors, the judge gives approval to this. Robert is not one of them. The court clerk once again, by turning the ball picks out two new names, replacing the two jurors that were dismissed. The judge then asks the defense lawyer if he is satisfied with this jury, he tells him, "Yes, your honor." The judge then asks the prosecutors the same question, they reply, "Yes, your honor."

With the prosecutors and the defense attorney still present, the judge then instructs the twelve jurors, including the two alternative jurors, (a total of fourteen jurors) of the following; "Anyone being tried is innocent until this person is proven, beyond any reasonable doubt, that he or she is guilty. And you must all agree unanimously, that the individual being tried is either guilty or not guilty. If one or more members of the jury disagrees with the majority you will be a hung jury." The judge continues his charge telling the rules and laws that must be obeyed by the jury during their deliberation. He also states, "None of you must tell anyone that you will be a juror for a first degree murder and robbery trial and you must not read newspapers or watch on television or listen to anything on the radio in regards to this trial." As the judge finishes his statement, a sheriff's officer orders everyone to stand as he leaves.

The court clerk then tells everyone, "A letter will be sent to each one of you in a few days telling the time and day you must report back at the courthouse for the trial," the clerk then tells everyone, "You may leave." A few days later, in his mail box, Robert gets a letter stating the time and date to appear in court. The letter also states that, "You should call here one day before coming, to check if the trial has been postponed for a future date." Six days later Robert calls, the trial has been delayed due to technicalities and is rescheduled to ten days from then. The nine more days pass, Robert calls the courthouse, the trial is on for tomorrow; he must report there at nine A.M. sharp.

The next day Robert arrives at the courthouse and is on time. He then goes to the correct room to await further instructions with the other jurors. Fifteen minutes after he arrived the jurors are all present and receive their final instructions on the trail. Thirty-five minutes later, a sheriff's officer leads the twelve jurors through the jury door into the courtroom. With each one standing in front of their seat they all take them at once. The courtroom is about eighty five percent filled with spectators and family members of the deceased and the defendant. The accused (we will call him David) is led by armed court guards into the courtroom wearing shackles. They walk him to where he then takes his appointed seat; guards then remove the shackles. A guard whispers in his ear the following, "Throughout the trial stay quiet, calm and in control and do not leave your seat; we will be watching your every move." The defense lawyer, (there is still one) and the prosecutors (there are still three of them) stand before the judge for final instructions. Moments after this is finished, the first-degree murder and robbery trial begins.

While this is happening, we go back into the defendant's life to learn what brought him here. A few years ago the accused had a wife. At home in their bedroom, in one of her dresser draws, she would always have a real looking, fake handgun. This fake handgun was the same size, looks, weight and was made completely out of steel, just like a real handgun. His wife kept this fake gun for her protection. Knowing the handgun wasn't real, once in a while David would take it out of her dresser draw, point it at her and with a silly playful grin on his face, would fire it at her and then laugh while returning the unreal gun into the dresser draw.

When they were together to support themselves, she was a schoolteacher and he was a unionized plumber. They had been married to each other for several years. His wife made more money than he did and this constantly bothered him. Because of this, David was always thinking and looking for a way to make more money. He came up with the idea to open a restaurant. So in all his spare time he learned everything he could on how to start then operate this business.

Just as David began to feel like he knew enough, he started to put the money he needed together. He had fifteen thousand dollars from his own savings. Only because his wife cosigned for him at one of the local commercial / safety banks, he was approved for a ten thousand dollar loan. His parents give him a five thousand dollar loan, his wife gave him a personal three thousand dollar loan and a friend gave him a two thousand dollar loan. Having enough money to get his business started, he opened a small restaurant in an area where there was a lot of other businesses. Because of this his rent was high. As the months went by his restaurant was only bringing in just fifty percent the total cost of it's expenses.

Being very frustrated and feeling like a failure, when he was at home with his wife, most of the time they would fight. Once their arguing was so intense the neighbors called the police. (In their future these bad times were going to eventually pass. Then they would have lived their lives out together with many years of happiness, but…) In a short time his restaurant began to build up a debt, he gets five months behind in the rent and he is also behind in his telephone, electric bill and has stopped making his loan payments to the bank. Finally, after a few more months his business was forced to close.

Being over fifteen thousand dollars in debt, David was very upset and had trouble sleeping. Without his wife's knowledge, he removed fifteen thousand dollars of her money out of their joint bank account in order to pay the debt off. (His wife has an understanding with him that he could withdraw her money from their joint bank account anytime only in case of an emergency situation.) At home that night he felt very guilty, so he decided first thing in the morning he would put all of his wife's money back into the account and in time solve this problem himself. Making this decision he felt a great load release off his shoulders.

David got into a playful mood and entered into their bedroom were his wife was sitting up in bed reading a book. Just like he had done many times before, with a silly grin on his face he opened one of her dresser draws, grabbed what he believed to be a fake handgun and pointed it at her. But this time as he was doing this, she lifted her hands and yelled out, "No!" But it was too late. With the silly grin on his face he fired a bullet in her, instantly killing her. A few days earlier without her husband knowing it, she bought a real handgun and forgot to tell him.

Being in shock, David tries to revive his wife, but then realizes she is dead. He calls the police. When they arrive he tries to explain to them that this was all an accident. They read the Miranda rites to him; he is then arrested. In jail he calls his lawyer who gets him out the next day. The detective bureau immediately begins to investigate her death. They asked all their neighbors, "Did you notice any unusual problems from that couple such as fighting?" Every neighbor living in the same apartment complex told the detectives, "Yes, they did frequently fight with each other." Continuing the researching the detectives learn that the police were called out recently to the home confirming because of their intense arguing. The police also discovered that he had taken fifteen thousand dollars out of her bank account, without her knowing about it. David was then arrested again and charged with first-degree murder and robbery.

Back in the courtroom, the trial has been going on for some time and is nearly half way over. Robert, the small time crook, is sitting bored and thinking to himself, (having seen the prosecutor's arguments so far and what he believes is a flimsy defense by the defendant's lawyer) "Man, this guy is nothing but guilty. Gee, I hope the other jurors can see this. I don't want to spend too much time in the jury room deliberating." Meanwhile, at home the small time crook has been feverishly working on his big robbery plan. No matter how hard he tries, he can't find any other thief to do this heist with him. Therefore, he constantly is thinking, "Where can I find a partner? Without one, I cannot commit this robbery!"

Suddenly, Robert starts to see a new idea. He quickly moves his head up and down as he says out loud, "Yes, yes," as this new plan starts to completely materialize in his mind. Thinking out loud to himself, he says, "The man that is being tried for first-degree murder and robbery, there is no doubt to me that he will be convicted then sent to prison for life. In fact, he probably will receive the death penalty. The trial will end in a few weeks, when the other jurors and myself go to deliberate in the jury room. As they start discussing the trial I will find an argument, a shadow of doubt, for every reason the jury has pointing to the defendant's guilt. I will work hard trying to prove to them that David did not have a strong enough motive to want to kill his wife. I will get them to believe in his testimony, that it was an accident. I shall stand unbending with all his defense lawyers' arguments throughout the trial. Then, once he is found not guilty by the jury and is released from custody, I will contact him a few days later.

I will then explain it was me who got you David the 'not guilty' verdict from the jury. I shall then prove this to him. After I have done this, I shall tell him I will be committing a multi million-dollar robbery and desperately need a partner; this is why I kept on trying, until I finally convinced the entire jury that you are not guilty of any of the charges. I will tell David, knowing this you must now help me and be my partner!" Instinctively, the small time crook knows that telling the mentioned fact will not be enough to convince David to help him. So during his time off from his jury duty responsibilities he purchases a MP3 DVD camcorder.

He removes it from the box, puts batteries in it, then walks around the town with it turned on. As Robert walks passed people on the sidewalk he stops and records them as he asks these people, "What day, month and year it is?" As he continues walking he holds the camcorder sometimes up to his face as he talks about his plan, of getting who most likely, is a guilty man free. By constantly trying as hard as possible, to convince the other jurors that the defendant, David, is completely innocent of the two charges even though he personally believes the defendant, David, is guilty of both charges. He walks into grocery and newsstand stores and then puts the camcorder lenses on the front-page stories, of newspapers being sold there. At home he even MP3 DVD records what is airing on his television as he switches the channels, including every news channel, as he then explains at the same exact time his entire twisted plan. He plans to do this many times before the trial's end and even plans to continue do this while the jury is in the jury room deliberating with him.

Meanwhile, the trial is about sixty percent finished. At home in all his spare time with his thoughts on the trail he remembers and studies it (focusing on every detail) as he said he would. After a few more weeks the trial ends, the jury is then sent to deliberate. In the jury room, Robert requests the trial manuscripts so he can study the case in deeper detail.

In a short time, eleven jurors believe David is guilty but the seemingly unanimous decision has one problem. The man who secretly is a small time crook is arguing and trying to convince all the jurors that he is not. As time moves on, Robert continuously keeps trying to convince the rest of the jurors that the accused is innocent. After five days in the jury room, the judge asks them to reveal if a decision had been made, they are hung. He orders them back into the jury room. Four days later they still do not have a verdict.

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