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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37443
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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A coworker of mine was convicted of a crime several years ago.

Resolved Question:

A coworker of mine was convicted of a crime several years ago. She its still in jail.
Her defense team has appealed her sentence based on the fact that one of the jurors
actually worked with her and knew her over an extended period of time. Thus she
did not get a fair trial. I worked with both of these people at that time as well and agree
that they knew each other. However, I cannot remember any specific time they talked.
In the first trial I hear that the court was aware that the juror worked at the same company
as the defendant at the same time, but because the juror denied knowing the defendant
they allowed them to stay on the jury. I was not involved with the first trial at all. I was contacted
by the defense as part of their appeal to give a statement saying I believe the juror
knew the defendant. I have that statement to them only because it is what I believe is the truth.
The state prosecutor tried calling me on my home phone and work phone. I ignored the
phone calls because I did not have anything further to say and I suspected all they
were interested in was discrediting my statement. Then the state prosecutor showed up
at my work and asked to see me. The receptionist called me and I told her I was busy and to get their number. Five minutes later my HR representative came and said I have to talk to them or they
will get a subpoena. The HR person was scared and intimidated I could tell. Because I didn't want to
cause anymore disruption at my work I agreed to go talk to them. It was not pleasant and the prosecutor
was trying to intimidate me. However, when I told them that I was told I don't have to
talk to them, they agreed and said that is true you don't have to talk to us.
So, my questions are:
Did they have the right to come to my work and put on this display of force (3 people, one armed)
and threaten subpoenas and intimidate my HR person and myself and possibly jeopardize
my job just so they could question me prior to possibly cross examining me in court?
What is my recourse if I wanted to stand up for my rights?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am sorry that you are now in the middle of this situation. Please allow me to fairly analyze the terms and inform you of what the prosecution can and cannot do.

You asked:
Did they have the right to come to my work and put on this display of force (3 people, one armed)
and threaten subpoenas and intimidate my HR person and myself and possibly jeopardize
my job just so they could question me prior to possibly cross examining me in court?
They could come to your workplace if you ignored their past requests. Likewise they do have a right to pursue a subpoena if they somehow felt you to be a useful witness. That is not a threat, it is a legitimate option whenever there is a potential witness who is being uncooperative based on the belief of the party who is pursuing questioning. Either the prosecution or the defense could pursue a subpoena. In terms of being 'armed' or bring more than one person, unless those arms were brandished in your direction and the parties had a license to carry firearms, it is a non-issue, although I do agree that it may cause a subconscious fear of a threat.

What is my recourse if I wanted to stand up for my rights?
You did when you stated that you did not wish to speak with them. The moment they appeared (which they could do), you could refuse to see them (which is your right). But seeing them first was wiser because it now gives them less reason to pursue a subpoena. Ultimately you can legally deny them access to you, your property, or you workplace. But there is no law that would have forbade them from contacting you or appearing at your work--you just did not have to let them in when they appeared.

Hope that helps.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your quick response. So, there is no rules on level of escalation they must follow. Like coming to my house first instead of my job?


 


I ended up cooperating with them, but


their line of questioning was indeed aimed at discrediting me and other coworkers claims that the juror knew the defendant. I am not taking sides on the overall case. I do however believe the defendant should get a fair trial and they did not. I do not understand how they would allow anyone on the jury who remotely new the defendant.


 


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Sally.

There is no formal level of escalation. In some ways they have an ability to find you where you are located, so if you refused to pick up the phone, they could find you where you worked (since you likewise did not have to pick up the phone or even let them into your property if they appeared there in person). They likely strategically chose the business setting because it would be harder for you to deny them both time and access (since the employer could step in and demand that this get resolved without any further business interference).

As for how the jury was picked, I agree that it would taint the pool, and it appears to be poor research on part of the attorneys in charge of jury selection. Knowing someone is generally not enough to keep someone off the jury (think of small towns where folks may indeed know everyone else either directly or by reputation), but using that knowledge is the actual problem. That is likely what happened here.

Hope that clarifies.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37443
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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