Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jury Duty

If you had asked me at 3:00 pm yesterday, I would have bet money that I would be sitting in the jury box in big city courts building this morning. I was juror number 14, and numbers 7,8, and 11 all had reasons they would not be able to participate as jurors. The questioning by the lawyers seemed to go on and on. Could we impartially hear the evidence and render a verdict? That's what all the questions really meant.

In the end, we were dismissed and a mistrial was declared. Why? Because of the 65 people on the panel, there were fewer than 32 of us who could say we would be able to be impartial and judge the evidence. They needed 32 in order for each side to have their 10 strikes and still leave a jury of 12 persons.

A mistrial was declared because less than half of the people in the room were willing to set aside personal prejudices and do their duty. I went in wanting to avoid serving. As the day progressed, I felt like it would be important for me to do my part so that a fair trial could be given. I'll never know what becomes of the young man who was charged. I prayed for him as he sat facing me yesterday.

It was an interesting day theologically. You hear a lot of theology at the court house. Some of the things I heard were "An eye for an eye," "If you sin, you must pay the punishment," and "If you disobey God, bad things are gonna happen."

Loving God, who can bring good from evil. Work in the hearts and minds of all of us involved yesterday. Show us your way and your will in our lives. Bring love to those who only know hatred. Bring care for those in need to those who only know comfort. Amen.

1 comment:

Rev. Dulce said...

Good for you. You went even when you were sick. I find that they seldom want me as a juror. Apparently ex-military police might not be impartial. Hmmpphh!!