My Civic Duty
I received my jury duty notice in the mail a while ago.
After sitting in a crowded room for what seemed like days several of us potential jurors were sent to a courtroom. After painfully long instructions we were asked several questions about our families, children and whether we could be fair jurors in this case.
I answered all the questions truthfully and became juror number two.
Over the course of two and a half days the case was presented and we all went to the deliberation room to "deliberate" the case. Once seated in the room we took a vote and I was the lone dissenter, voting undecided. The others, all 11 of them voted guilty immediately without a discussion of the facts and conflicting testimony.
I often wonder how many times this happens, we make a decision based on what we want to hear and not even try to understand the other person's side of events. It is very easy to label, judge, or convict a person but it takes courage to stand up and say, "Wait a minute, lets examine this, lets take another look at these events."
I tried to understand my fellow jurors and some of them expressed that they did not get paid for jury duty and wanted to get back to work or school. For them it was easier to say "Guilty" than to discuss the case so they could continue on with what they do best.
For me, I want to be absolutely sure I don't condemn an innocent person.