In another one from The Third Branch, Eileen Kilbane, deputy clerk in the Dane County Clerk of Courts Office, shares her experiences as a juror in the Chai Vang trial. “I have seen how the court system works on a day-to-day basis and thought it would be interesting to see how it works from a juror’s perspective,” she observed.
From the article:
- On being chosen as a juror: “Glad” didn’t come to mind when she first got the news that she had been selected to sit on a sequestered jury, 300 miles from home, in a case where security concerns were heightened and the media glare was bright, Kilbane acknowledged.
- On her fellow jurors: “We had a great group of jurors,” Kilbane said. . . They spent their off hours during the next eight days swimming (with bailiffs), taking walks (with bailiffs), watching TV in a common room (with bailiffs), going out to lunch and dinner (with bailiffs) and reading newspapers “that looked like Swiss cheese.”
- On the emotional intensity: While the defendant, Vang, sat stoically throughout the trial, Kilbane said the witnesses were very emotional. “That was tough. Watching grown men and teenage boys break down on the stand was very hard to watch and not cry.”