sleepy.jpgYou guys, promise me something right now: if I’m ever murdered and or put on trial for murder, will y’all work out a schedule in which you go to my or my alleged killer’s trial and make intermittent loud noises? I swear to do the same for you.

Why I’m asking this: The Chronicle’s Demian Bulwa has been doing, in my estimation, the best coverage out there of the murder trial of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART cop accused of killing Oscar Grant on New Years Day 2009. (Why did I just type that? You knew all this).

In addition to Bulwa’s traditionally-styled news articles on the trial (here’s the most recent one), he’s been been posting observations from the trial on the Chron’s crime blog. They are quite fascinating! (The comments are another matter entirely, great work moderating, Chron/Gate!)

Anyway, all day long I have been obsessing over this one:

“For the second time since the trial began, Judge Robert Perry stopped testimony Monday because a juror apparently nodded off. He then spoke with attorneys in private, but took no action. Perry has been kind about the apparent drowsiness, even revealing that he once fell asleep on the bench. ‘I remember I woke up and the room was very quiet,’ he said. ‘Someone had made an objection and was expecting the judge to rule on it … so I overruled it.'”

I do not know that I want a judge to be kind about jurors falling asleep during a murder trial, especially when we’re only three days in on what promises to be a lengthy proceeding!

Am I overreacting? Perhaps — after all, we’ve all felt that midday pull of sleep (I could use a nap right now, myself). But somehow we all manage to stay awake, and none of us are, as far as I know, deciding the course of a man’s life. I know that sounds so soapboxy, but, come on, jurors, get a diet coke or something.

Update: AP is reporting that the sleepy juror has since been dismissed! I feel better already.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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