Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Civic Duty -- Part 2

I didn't beat the odds at first. I sat in a jury box and was grilled for a few hours along with 17 other people. I heard many stories that broke my heart as the subject matter brought back so many memories with which I wasn't at all prepared to deal. Holding back tears from the very first announcement about what this case was, I felt sick. A feeling in the pit of my stomach made me want to scream, cry, shake, or all of the above. I now feared more than ever that I would be chosen to serve on this jury. I knew I could never be unbiased. I knew this person was guilty and I hated him for what he had done. 

While he showed absolutely no emotion while the questioning went on, I wondered how any person with any shred of a heart, could keep their composure. He was completely without remorse. With a pounding heart and anger in my voice, I stood my ground about how I felt. I never swayed from my opinion. I was adamant that I could never be unbiased in this kind of case.

I was excused at the end of the day. I felt a slight twinge of guilt as though I had done something wrong. I had only told the truth--and it was harrowing to have to talk about some of those things. I got in my car and immediately bawled. I called my friend and almost breathlessly told her about my day. It took a long time before I could shake off this experience. I'm not sure I have completely, nor am I certain I will ever forget it.

My heart breaks.

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