There is a man sitting in the county jail right who has lost his freedom and I have ensured that he will not regain it for many years. As this country celebrates its freedom, my mind dwells on his loss and it has tainted my mood.
I was ordered to report to the courthouse up in St. Joe for jury duty a couple weeks ago. The selection was for a murder trial. I had thought that the odds were small that I would make it on the jury but make it I did. Will not go into the specifics of the case but there are a few things that I would like to note.
After going through the trial, I found that the prosecutor had done her job and I was was convinced of most of the charges that were laid on him. I was in sync with most of the jurors for most of the charges except for two. While I was ready to pronounce the defendant guilty on those two charges, the rest of them were not. I could understand where they were coming from and there conclusion was valid given the evidence. What I realized is that I have a higher expectation of people and the actions they take and their responsibility to face the consequences of those actions.
There really are two sides to a story. After the trial was concluded, I came home and started looking up all the media I could find about the story. What I read coming from both camps saddened me. Having to weigh testimony and evidence highlighted the nuances of a series of unfortunate events. My perspective on what happened seems to be totally different than those in the two camps. I can’t even say that there are points that I can agree with any of them.
The man sitting in the jail tonight was guilty of the crime he committed but he wasn’t completely at fault. Misperception, escalation, and overzealousness is deadly combo but in the end, a bad decision ended, in different ways, two mens’ lives.