I never really planned on blogging about local news. But this news story is important to me.
Shaun Green, accused of participating in a home robbery, has been sentenced to 15 years, according to the Times Union, reported just a couple of hours ago.
Do I know him? No, not really. I was on his jury.
I actually really wanted to serve on jury duty. I enjoyed the whole process very much. I loved going into court every day, having the opportunity to do something different. The simple notion of not being on a computer all day was a huge, and welcoming, change of pace.
Also, I loved the excitement of keeping a secret, of not talking about it, of avoiding the news, of resisting Googling the case. Even how I was chosen was exciting for me – I was the absolute last person chosen out of three groups of 14 people called up. And they picked me. Thank God. I would have been quite displeased if I had been an alternate.
And now the best part of all – I can talk about it!
Honestly, I feel like I could write a book about that case, with how seriously I took the whole process, and how much I really threw myself emotionally into the whole thing, but here it is in a nutshell: Shaun Green allegedly participated in this robbery of an elderly man in Cohoes.
There were four people involved: one girl, three guys. They entered his home, one or more of them beat him severely, and they robbed him of coin collections he had in safes. The man did not die until over six months later, but he was reportedly never the same again after the beating – physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Nothing connected Shaun Green to being present at this robbery and beating, other than the testimonies of two of the other people who were there, and one other thing. Both of the witnesses were highly unreliable, with their stories not matching, and clear lies being told. And, they were each receiving huge benefits for their testimonies against Shaun Green: one was a minor and could have her record completely expunged, and the other was looking at having his sentence reduced from 25 years to 7.
So, we all pretty much disregarded their testimonies right away. But, there was that one other thing.
There was a coin, if I’m remembering correctly it was a 1964 Canadian silver dollar, in Shaun Green’s pocket when he was arrested. This coin was missing from a set of coins that came from the elderly man’s house. It was so very clearly that coin that had been stolen.
After feeling it and holding it myself, I can say with no doubt that this was not a coin that one would happen to come upon, would receive in change, or would not know was on his person (ie it could not have been planted). It was a stolen coin, it was the coin, he knew he had it on him, and he knew that it was stolen – that is what I believe.
So in the end, we decided that he was definitely there, present, participating in the robbery, but we could not say without a reasonable doubt that Shaun Green had participated in the beating of the victim. We administered our verdict accordingly.
There were six charges, all felonies, all having to do with burglary or robbery in varying degrees, against Shaun Green. We convicted him of only the lesser two charges out of the six.
And still, he is getting 15 years. Wow. What would he have gotten otherwise? Thirty years? I was sort of hoping for 5 to 10 for him, but obviously it isn’t up to me. I also very much liked and respected the judge, and so I do trust in his, well, judgement.
In any case, it is a really crazy feeling to know you were a part of someone getting sent to prison for over a decade.
Also, regardless of what Shaun Green or anyone else got sentenced to, there is no doubt that a man was severely beaten. No doubt about that at all.
I do believe that the beating contributed to his death several months later. I do hope that the person or people who beat him receive what they deserve, whatever that may be, and whoever they may be.