Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Jury In A Box. A Snake In A Box.

I was hoping for a drug case, or maybe some interesting murder case where there was a dozen pieces of evidence point in one direction and twelve pointing in the other. If there was someone out there busted with an ounce of pot or something like that I would be more than willing to just let them go, really, because why bother? If it was a murder case then there would some sort of thought to as to why someone would kill someone else, and that might be enough to sway it. Or maybe it was a local politician with his hand caught in the jar. “Aggravated sexual assault and child molestation”  please god make me a stone, to quote “Serenity”.

Your Honor I would like to be excused from this jury pool because this isn’t fun anymore.

            One of two things is going to happen here, and only one of these two things are going to happen. You will either ruin this man’s life forever and ever, or you will possibly release a predator back into the wild. Think ever you will, I don’t see it any other way, and I was one of the lucky people to be left when the polling began, not that it wasn’t interesting to sit there and watch that play out, mind you. One guy, when the judge asked, “Is there anyone here who is not a resident of Brooks County” replied “I’m not”. Gee, Mike, how interesting can that be? The man claimed he “domiciled” in Brook County, that his address was here, that he lived here, but he was not a resident.

WIT?  (What in tarnation, Southern for WTF)

            The Judge, knowing that the insane will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience, asked both interested parties if anyone had any objections to striking this juror, no Your Honor, please more to the exit sign, you damn lunatic. Okay, anyone else here have any other pressing business with the Mother Ship, I did not think so, no.

            The defense lawyer in a molestation case is a man who has little to lose. No one expects him to win. The odds of finding twelve people in South Georgia who are not ready, willing, and nearly able to execute someone accused of hurting a child are exceedingly small. I would be one of guilty until proven innocent people. I could be a gun toting, rope tying, stump burning, kill them all let god sort them out very narrow view on child molestation type person. There are those who consider those traits as relatively impartial.
            The defense lawyer complains about the seating chart, but bravely trudges forward.  Or so he seems to want us to believe. Apparently if we are picked for this jury there will be a child testifying. Do we believe, he asks, children always tell the truth? He mentions witnesses, do we know these people? He mentions two, and after their names he mentions they are African American. I think this odd until the jury is picked. Most of the jury members are African American. This is a play, I suspect, by the defense to bolster the credibility of defense witnesses who may also be African American. Why do I think this? Because what else does the man have to play, when it comes down to it? This man is screwed, and so is his client. If a little girl takes the stand against him all he has is his word to stand against the emotions of a group of people who will watch a child on the stand. Guilt or innocent will be decided by emotion here, regardless of what the law may say. You know this is true. You know this as well as I do, even if you’ve never been there. The defense needs one juror with stronger emotion than this, and he plays every single card he has at every chance. It is a desperate hope, but it is the only one he has. As the names are called out, African Americans dominate the jury chosen. I suspect he will not get the sympathy he wants from them but that is just a guess. I am not among those called. My work here is done. Gratefully, thankfully, and finally, the rest of us are released.
            Is this is what we have fallen to in the name of justice? One side would put a child on the stand, and the other praying for hope in the race card, is this justice? In the very best case we have a child coached into lying, in the worse case she is telling the truth. In the best case we have two people whose lives are totally wrecked and in the worse case none of us, none of us who gets touched by this case, none of us, are ever the same.

            I go home to mutts. Mutts. The Puppy Lucas pushes his brothers around to get pettings on a dog’s head, and Sam wants his ears petted, and Bert, the muttibeasti gives kisses and the phone rings. Elbow has a snake in her mailbox. A snake in her mailbox! Yes, I will come get the snake, yes, I know it likely isn’t there anymore, but I will come rescue you, or rescue the snake, whichever the case may be, and we can go walking later, and we can talk about Frank’s knees, you know the Border Collie, Frank, Elbow’s dog who hobbles around, and yes, there is a snake in the mailbox when I get there but it is a Corn Snake, and it is beautiful, and it is harmless, and even Elbow likes the colors, and yes, some screen in the bottom of the mailbox would keep snakes out but just how often could this happen, really, and no I would not mention it to the person who delivers the mail, really, I would not, and the snake loops around my hand, and then drifts to the ground and it disappears.

Take Care

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