Calhoun County Court

Almost everyone has received them at one time or another, a summons to report for jury duty, and one of the hardest things in life is to sit in judgment of someone else, but that hasn't been too much of a problem for jurors in Calhoun County lately.

Wednesday morning the jury box should be full, and a defendant will step into the courtroom to proceed with a trail, that is, if the two sides don't settle the case.

Ruth Attaway, Clerk of Calhoun County Courts, says, “Often the defendant will plea in advance of an actual jury trail. Why they choose to do that is their own business."

Barring any settlement, the case of the state versus Eileen Reed will be the first case to be decided by a jury in Calhoun County in over two years. That doesn't mean justice hasn't been carried out in Calhoun County.

Some defendants have put their fate in the hands of the judge rather than a jury. Other juries have heard cases, only to be dismissed because of a settlement before they could deliberate, but it's still a bit odd to have no jury decisions in over two years.

The last one Clerk of Court Ruth Attaway could find was February of 2003. Despite the low number of jury decisions, Attaway says her office continues to schedule trials and subpoena jurors.

"We set the trials well in advanced, and whatever case that has not been settled in any other manner, the person has pled not guilty, then they're going to trial as far as we're concerned."

She admits it would be good to know what trial will require a jury ahead of time.

"We would love to know well in advance so we wouldn't have to spend the money and the time to go out after a jury, but we don't know."

And remember, it's the court's duty to provide a trial with a jury of the defendant's peers.

"We're here to give everybody the opportunity to have their right to a fair trail before a jury."

The case against Eileen Reed involves a disturbance at a Blountstown High School football game a year ago. Reed is charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. She apparently plans to go to trial.


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