I had my last jury trial yesterday. Hopefully that will fulfill my civic duty for a long time to come.
The case was a Fish and Game offense. I don't know how it is in other states, but in Vermont, you can request a jury trial for a Fish and Game issue. (You can even get a jury trial for a parking ticket if you so choose.)
Our defendants were charged with Taking a Big Game Animal Out of Season (specifically, a deer) and Possession of Big Game Taken Out of Season. The whole case rested on an unattributed phone call to a game warden. There was no smoking gun, no carcass, no witness - and the only physical evidence was 3 photos of some packages wrapped in bloody freezer paper and ziploc bags, labeled with a date for the previous year (when a legal deer had been taken.) We found both defendants Not Guilty, since we didn't believe that the state had proved any guilt 'beyond a reasonable doubt.' There were way too many perfectly reasonable scenarios that the prosecutor hadn't eliminated. Whatever our private thoughts were (and more than one of us thought there might have been something shady going on), the evidence was not sufficient to convict.
The funny thing is, the trial itself only took about an hour and a half. We deliberated for close to 4 hours... They had to send in lunch for us. We even had them play the tapes of most of the testimony over for us, to be sure that what we thought we had heard was what we actually had heard.
Imagine if it had been a murder case - we would have been in that little room for days...
The good news is, I took my knitting:Finished the cuffs for my Drops Sweater!