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Monday, March 31, 2008

"Pepperspectives"

David Pepper describes his recent jury duty experience in his March newsletter as "eye-opening and educational." You can read the whole newsletter (it also includes updates on county business, Pepper's new Going Green survey and the results of his February transportation survey) on his web site . The newsletter should be posted by late Monday or early Thursday. Here's a snippet.



Jury Duty: Just Do It.
(You'll Be Glad You Did)

For two weeks last month, I set aside almost my entire schedule to do something most citizens dread doing. Jury Duty.
And I have to say, I'm so glad I did. It's not only a citizen's duty-it's an eye-opening and educational experience that benefits every citizen who does it.
I happened to serve on the grand jury (probably would not have made it onto a regular jury). For two weeks, I and 10 other dedicated citizens from all across Hamilton County heard case after case, and deliberated about whether or not to indict fellow citizens for alleged crimes. I can't reveal any specifics, but I can tell you how rewarding the experience was in general.
First, jurors are the key to the entire system working. They are needed. And when you sit on a jury, it really is a nice reminder just how much our system is citizen-driven. In the end, the fate of each case was our call, and we took that responsibility seriously.
Second, your tax dollars are paying for the entire system. So jury duty is a great way to see up close and personal those tax dollars at work-particularly the public servants (the prosecutors, the victim advocates, the police officers, sheriff's deputies, court reporters and others) that are working hard to create a safe and just community. I must say, overall, I was encouraged by what I saw.
Finally, and most importantly, as we debate and deliberate how to make our community safe from crime, there are few better ways to understand the challenges we face than to be part of a jury. While too many citizens experience crime in their own community, many others are fortunate to live in safety, and rarely experience crime face-to-face. For them, the issue of crime is of course important, yet a little distant.
Jury duty changes that quickly. Many mornings or afternoons were filled with our collective silence, or sadness, or confusion, or outrage, as we confronted case after case of addiction, dysfunction, violence and worse. Broken homes and shattered lives, over and over and over.
Newspaper headlines may cover the high-profile crime stories-but at grand jury, the sheer volume of troubling cases every day is what comes through most loud and clear, showing just how much work we have to do to improve things. It also underscores the enormous challenge our public servants are up against when we ask them to make our community safer. In the end, they are a small, dedicated team taking on an enormous set of problems that most of the rest of the community rarely sees.

Needless to say, the next time you get a jury notice, try not to groan. Or grumble. Or put it off.

If you are able, just do it. You won't regret it.


8 Comments:

at 9:56 AM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what will Commissioner Pepper now do to fix the mountains of problems he saw while on jury duty?

He gained this great perspective, but so what?

Is he going to lower taxes? Is he going to volunteer in soup kitchens on weekends? Is he going to enact any meaningful directives to shift us away from the ruin he saw, or is status quo good enough?

If we have all of these problems, then do we stay the course or make changes.

If Pepper nows has his eyes opened to all these problems, and he does nothing in the next two years, then we can see this is all talk.

However, if he actually can do something profound...

 
at 12:55 PM, April 01, 2008 Blogger The Great Stephen Dapper said...

So, a royal titulary descending the throne sets aside two weeks intermixing with the grievously oppressed peasants to learn about their life in his kingdom and I’m to rejoice? That it takes jury duty to awaken the king to his governed blights signals how uninformed and out of touch our elected representatives are to the problems under their jurisdiction.

I too, recently received notice of jury duty. My experience differed from our king, my notice required returning questioner, upon receipt of my completed form Jury Commissioner informed me I was excused, received card which simply read “You are excused from Jury Duty”

“Needless to say I didn’t groan, grumble or try and put it off,” I called asking why I had been excused. I learned citizens that do not receive paid jury duty leave by their employer are not asked to serve, I’m self employed, hence, I was excused.

After terse conversation jury commission representative said “well if you want to just come in next Monday” My life experience varies greatly from our king’s, I’m one of those he decries “While too many citizens experience crime in their own community” so I was looking forward to do my part to serve justice. During my two weeks of jury duty I was called to one case, something about a kid (20y/o) breaking into a house in Price Hill, don’t know much else, didn’t make it through Voir dire, why you ask? When told my home had been burglarized by a couple of cut off t-shirt nunchuck kids from apartment complex two blocks away I was removed.

I wanted to serve on a jury where I could have made a difference, I was looking forward to nullifying Cincinnati‘s marijuana and building codes, no way any jury I was on would jail someone for a messy yard

http://www.hcso.org/publicservices/inmateinfo/InmateDetails.aspx?JMSid=1290179

Perhaps you might be called to Jury Duty, Like King Dave says “If you are able, just do it. You won't regret it“. first, be sure to review following links though


http://www.fija.org//index.php?page=displaytxt&id=31 …….. IF YOU’RE CALLED

http://www.reason.com/blog/printer/125724.html ……..TEXAS LAW
http://youtube.com/watch?v=m5DY68N9yCw ……..YOU TUBE VIDEO

http://www.fija.org/index.php?page=displaytxt&id=207&refer=news …….JURY NULLIFICATION

http://www.fija.org/docs/jurors_handbook_a_citizens_guide_to_jury_duty.pdf ……..JURORS HANDBOOK

 
at 1:56 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading these blogs for about 3 months. I don't understand why people can not stop them selves from calling others names and completly trying to degrade each other. Stay on the topic not the person. In Mr. Pepers writing, I feel he was trying to explain how important the process is and what he experienced. The other man wants to call him King etc. Give it a rest, and try and refrain from calling people names etc. Respond to your experience and maybe suggest how it could be made better.

 
at 2:56 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pepper's "Pepperspectives" is 100 times better than the meaningless drivel that Chris "Ice Cream Boy" Monzel has Bradford and Christa put out every month. I believe his own party's chairman called it "the most mundane collection of tedious minutiae" he has ever read.

 
at 4:06 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon 1:56

Maybe you done ferget dave Pepper and odd todd portune tried taking our money for the jail I sa be callin them worse then KINGS. That other mans right thems is thinking theys kings. I never been asked for no jury neither. Thems other web sites got me wantin to be ons one now!

 
at 8:42 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Pepper,
You have won over this life long Conservative Republican. Your vote for the Jail Tax Plan took guts. You have a true understanding of the overall issues facing the Citizens of Hamilton County. The criminal element has moved out to the suburbs of Hamilton County. We have to act together, to stop the criminal insurgents from infecting the whole County. I will continue to vote Republican on all other issues, but you have earned my vote for a long time. Thank you.

 
at 11:01 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:42 - you forgot to conclude with "april fools!"

 
at 3:48 AM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pepper and Portune both supported the building of a jail for those who just don't get it and continue to infringe on the rights of the rest of us, while striving to provide the services necessary to help heal the addicted criminal who's conduct multiplies exponentially when not treated - the drug and alcohol use, the child and spousal abuse, petty thefts, DUI's, FR suspensions, etc.
We missed out on a heck of an opportunity to move the county in a direction to stifle the criminal behaviors thanks to those 10,000 dollar winners from the far right, like Finney the Fink, who are nestled in their gated communities...

 
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