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Jury Duty Part 7

Day 4 (October 9) Part 2

Just in case you were thinking that this trial couldn’t possibly get any more strange, after lunch, while Deron Powell’s sister was testifying, about fifteen Hasidic Jews (mostly children) walked into the courtroom and sat down. One of the jurors told me later that it was a Jewish holy week, but that still doesn’t explain why they were there. They were clearly not from Bed-Stuy. Is that what Jews like to do on their day off? Go to court?

Anyway, Deron Powell’s sister testified, and she cried while recalling the day of her brother’s death. Aside from that, I don’t really remember what she said because I was busy thinking about all of the wonderful letters that I’m going to write to Terrence Boyd when he goes to prison.

The next person to testify was the District Attorney. Her and ADA Walsh seemed really smitten, and everyone on the jury agreed that they’re probably fucking. She testified that when Boyd was apprehended down in Florida and brought back to New York, he signed his name to three written statements in which he confessed to Deron Powell’s murder. He also made a video statement in which he confessed to the murder, which we watched. Well…it was sort of a confession. Boyd’s story is that he called up Deron Powell and told him that he wanted to meet him on Patchen Avenue. Before he got there, Boyd called up a guy named “Ghost” and told him that he needed a “hammer,” which is animal-speak for “gun.” Boyd confronted Powell and told him that he wanted to fight him. Powell refused to fight him, and he started to walk away. Just then, Ghost arrived with the gun (I refuse to call it a hammer), and for reasons that weren’t even clear to Boyd, Ghost aimed the gun at Powell’s head. Boyd tried to push the gun down, and it went off, shooting Deron Powell in the stomach. The cops who were driving by in the paddywagon got out and chased Ghost, not Boyd. If you believe Boyd’s story, then I have some nice oceanfront property in Colorado that I’m interested in selling to you. Besides, there was a huge contradiction in Boyd’s video statement, but I’ll get to that later. For now, I want to point out the dangers of speaking in ebonics. On the video statement, Boyd said that when he told Deron Powell to meet him on Patchen Avenue, they were “gonna shoot it straight.” The DA asked him what he meant by that. He explained that him and Powell were going to talk. Now if you were being accused by the police of shooting someone, would you tell them that on the day of the murder, you and the victim were going to “shoot it straight?” What if the DA hadn’t asked him to clarify what he meant, and those of us who speak English interpreted it as meaning that him and Powell were going to have a shootout? Also, Boyd said that after Ghost shot Powell, he took the gun from him and put it up his sleeve “because any time I pick something up, it’s just a natural instinct for me to do that.” Luckily, no one other than the jurors heard me laughing. From now on, if you see me picking things up and putting them up my sleeve, you’ll know why. As you know, my attention span is unlimited when it comes to entertaining myself with stupid little things like that, so don’t be surprised if you still see me doing that ten or fifteen years from now.

Day 5 (Wednesday, October 10)

Alex Ginsberg, the reporter from the New York Post who wrote about Terrence Boyd’s outbursts was in the courtroom yesterday, so I looked through the New York Post this morning. But of course, since Boyd didn’t flip out yesterday, Ginsberg didn’t feel the need to write anything about the trial. This comes as no surprise since we are, after all, talking about the New York Post.

I walked into the jurors room this morning and said, “Hey, I brought popcorn in case we get to watch another movie!” We didn’t watch another “movie” though. What we did do was hear testimony from the cop who col–Jesus Christ! More Hasidics! What is it with Jews and court?  No! Ignore the creepy Hasidics sitting in the back of the courtroom and pay attention to the trial! We heard testimony from the cop who collected the gun that was thrown by the suspect when he was being chased by the cops. His voice was quivering while he was testifying, so much so that ADA Walsh asked him, “Are you nervous?”

“Yes. A little.”

No. He was not a little nervous. He was petrified. In fact, I was worried that the only thing I would pay any attention to was his quivering voice instead of his testimony. However, I’m into harsh forms of self-discipline, and therefore, I told myself that if I didn’t pay attention, I was going to deprive myself of lunch. And if that didn’t work, I was going to punch myself in the testicles.

ADA WALSH: Um…Your Honor, Juror #10 is lying on the floor, turning blue.

Fortunately, I was hungry that day, so I paid attention, but this witness didn’t say anything that was particularly interesting.

During lunch, we played Hangman. I said, “Hey, how funny would it be if this were a capital punishment case, and we’re sitting in here playing Hangman? That would be fucked up, wouldn’t it?” When it was my turn, I made the answer to the puzzle be NOT GUILTY. When someone shouted out the answer, I shouted back, “Hey! We’re not supposed to be discussing the case!”

Next, we heard from a firearms expert. When a gun is found near a crime scene, it’s this guy’s job to fire it into a huge tank of water. Somehow, this reveals whether or not a gun was used. He testified that the gun had indeed been fired. Guardanino didn’t bother to cross-examine him. Why would he?

The cop who went down to Jacksonville to arrest Terrence Boyd was on the stand for ninety minutes, and that was only for direct testimony! Even I (believe it or not) started to get bored. At one point, Boyd started to talk to Guardanino. I guess he wanted him to ask the cop something during cross examination. Boyd was talking to him well above a whisper, and it annoyed the judge. Finally, he’s going to use the gavel! The judge knocked on his desk with his knuckles, which made Boyd and Guardanino stop talking. That answered my question about the gavel, but it only kept me entertained for about thirty seconds.



October 10, 2006


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