What to Expect as a Juror of a Murder Trial

I was called to serve on a jury back in 1999.  It was odd that there were so many there for jury duty that day, hundreds in our room, and that we filled out a questionnaire instead of the usual voir dire. I was later called back and asked to reappear that week, which I did and was asked to take the stand and was asked questions about my answers on the questionnaire which was interesting having never been in a witness box before.  I was selected and the trial began a couple of days later.  

This was a high-profile case and a capital murder case as well, so I could not watch the news at night after I got home from the trial.  Even though it was a capital murder trial, it only took a couple of weeks to complete and we were not sequestered at night. 

In our case, the defendant had already plead guilty but because of the nature of the trial, we had to go through the process of a full trial anyway.  The case was fully laid out to us and all of the background crimes leading up to the moment of the first shooting.

On August 24, 1998, in Plano, Texas, Feldman fatally shot a man driving an 18-wheel truck. Witnesses observed Feldman ride up beside the truck on a motorcycle and fire multiple shots into the cab of the truck, dropping back and again returning and firing additional shots into the cab of the truck.

Reports indicate that a total of 12 shots were fired into the truck resulting in the death of the driver. Approximately 30 minutes later, in Dallas, Texas, Feldman rode up beside a parked Exxon 18-wheel truck and fatally shot another man. Four shots were fired on this occasion, resulting in the death of the man.

On September 5, 1998, a victim received two gunshot wounds in the parking lot of a Jack-in-the-Box in Dallas, Texas.  That man survived but it resulted in a police chase which led to Doug Feldman’s mom’s house where he was arrested.

Ballistics reports verified that all of the attacks were performed by the gun that Feldman possessed.

We deliberated for only about 45 minutes, as we had already been told that he had confessed and the evidence was overwhelming against him.  He was found guilty and sentenced to death by lethal injection.  He remains as of this writing in state prison awaiting his appeals to run out and an execution date set.

When the trial was over, we were asked by the judge if we would like to leave through another passageway so we could avoid the media waiting for us which we all did.  Once I was in the parking garage, I returned to being just an ordinary citizen who had fulfilled his civic duty.