Do you see what I saw?
Moonlight on the lake.
Pictures don’t do it justice. It was pretty magnificent.
(n.) the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. Thus, one clearly knowledgeable witness may provide a preponderance of evidence over a dozen witnesses with hazy testimony, or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended. Preponderance of the evidence is required in a civil case and is contrasted with "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the more severe test of evidence required to convict in a criminal trial. No matter what the definition stated in various legal opinions, the meaning is somewhat subjective.
Thirty-four potential jurors were in the room, only twelve would be selected. You would think with those odds you’d be safe. They got to number twelve and my name was called and my first thought “I should’ve brought extra underwear.” The case was scheduled to go for at least three days.
The case was a dispute between a citizen and a police officer. The situation occurred on a normal day, in a matter of moments, within a six-tenths of a mile. Although I tried not to form an opinion too soon, I did. It grew throughout the next three days. As we went in to deliberate I was sure I knew what the outcome would be. I didn’t feel good about it. I was glad to be wrong.
As we examined all the evidence, discussed the testimonies, and considered the instructions from the judge—we weren’t to judge the things that could’ve/should’ve happened, only the actions in one moment—I realized that although my opinion of situation didn’t change, my ruling did. It was the preponderance of evidence. IT WAS NOT EASY (5 1/2 hours of deliberation.) But I feel at peace with the conclusion.
As soon as I realized what the right thing to do was, I knew the media wouldn’t portray in the best light and that we would be criticized for our ruling. That was an interesting feeling. I distinctly remember feeling nervous for it, but peace at the same time. I think some key decision makers might feel this way. My predictions were right. Don’t believe everything you read in the news.
Every individual should have a jury experience in order to appreciate the system set up in the constitution. I am a believer in the system. I am thankful I had the opportunity to participate.