Jury service for Charlotte attorney Gary Mauney - Sometimes lawyers DO get selected! (Part One)
On February 25, 2020, I was, of all things, selected to serve as a juror in a first-degree murder trial, here, in Mecklenburg County (which is Charlotte, for readers from out-of-state). When I got my jury summons, I thought, I'll never get chosen, I'm a lawyer! And a litigator, i.e., a "courtroom lawyer," to boot! So imagine my surprise when, as jury selection took place, the District Attorney said, "The State is satisfied with Gary Mauney," and then the Defense Counsel likewise said, "The Defense is satisfied with Gary Mauney." Over the next three weeks, I, along with my fellow jurors, watched and listened as the prosecution put a young man on trial for first-degree murder and other serious crimes - and then we watched and listened as the defense sought to prove that the defendant was actually wrongfully charged and was in fact innocent.
Tragic events prompted the trial. The defendant had been charged with murdering a young man during the course of a robbery and severely injuring two other young men (both shot over the course of the robbery). If found guilty, the defendant faced life in prison.
On one side of the courtroom sat the defendant with his counsel, and behind him sat his family. On the other side of the courtroom sat the prosecution, and behind them sat the families of the people the defendant had allegedly murdered and shot (the victims). As a juror, I realized that no matter what the outcome of the trial was, the families of the accused and of the victims would be forever changed. This realization gave me a feeling of awesome responsibility: To keep an open mind as the evidence was presented, to not pre-judge anything, and to be fair.
And, I am proud to say, the presiding judge, the prosecution, the defense, and my fellow jurors, all took their roles seriously and respectfully, and what I observed and took part in was a process that was fair, and that ultimately reached a just result. When the trial was over, I wanted to report to The Mauney Verdict readers some of what I saw, and why I was proud of what happened in that Charlotte courtroom.
This is the first of several blog posts about different aspects of the murder trial. My observations, from the perspective of Charlotte trial attorney, Gary Mauney, serving as a juror, in a murder trial in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Charlotte trial attorney, Gary Mauney, can be contacted at Mauney PLLC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.