That's the Broward jury in the citrus canker action brought by Bobby Gilbert:
Respectfully, yes it is. You are a juror. It is your duty and obligation to "pick a side."
Unable to reach a verdict in its first day, the 12-member panel returns Tuesday to continue deliberations in a case that could put extra money in the pockets of tens of thousands of homeowners whose trees the state destroyed in a failed program to eradicate citrus canker.
A positive outcome for more than 58,000 local homeowners won't necessarily mean a check is going to arrive in the mail anytime soon. If the state loses, it is likely to appeal. The verdict could influence four similar lawsuits pending in other parts of the state, including Miami-Dade County.
Jurors, who were handed the case early Monday after two weeks of tedious testimony, must decide whether the state shortchanged homeowners when it gave them a $100 Wal-Mart gift card for the first tree lost and $55 each for the rest.
''The constitutional requirement of full compensation means that the property owner must be paid completely for the whole loss resulting from the taking,'' Judge Ronald Rothschild said in his instructions to jurors.
Lawyers for the state insist the cost of replacing a tree should equal the price of an easily transplantable tree at a nursery, plus the cost of fertilizing it for several years and 5.3 percent interest per year.
Under their formula, homeowners should collectively receive $4.1 million to $4.8 million for the 133,700 trees destroyed -- well below what already has been paid out to tree owners in Broward County.
So it's up to jurors to decide whether tree owners are entitled to receive more money under the Florida Constitution's requirement of ''full compensation'' when the government takes private property.
Not a simple thing. Jurors must determine the actual value of the 133,700 citrus trees destroyed in Broward during the state's long-running canker eradication program.
One tool could be a formula that takes into account a tree's height and health, among other factors. A simpler solution would be for the jury to require the state to award a lump sum to be divided among thousands of homeowners.
Said alternate juror Larissa Lockett, who said she has yet to make up her mind: ``I think it's very hard to decide. It's not something where you can just pick one side.''