Posted by: Marie | October 15, 2010

(423) Returning to normality

Post #423
[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 – 4pm]

Well, it came to a close in a rather drama-less manner.

Mid-morning, the remaining 50 or jurors headed back into the courtroom. The 28 with the lowest juror numbers were seated in the jury box. The attorneys asked those 28 potential jurors the traditional, generic questions one would expect to hear. . .

What do you think it means to be innocent until proven guilty? Do you think children are capable of lying? Would serving on the jury for the next 3-4 days create an undo hardship for you? Do you think alterations to digital photographs can always be detected?

Selflessness Forest by Martin Chen

I wasn’t in the first bunch of 28. But when we returned from lunch, enough of the jurors had been dismissed that my number came up. I took a seat in the jury box. I was asked some of the generic questions . . . I gave generic answers . . .

Finally, around 3pm, the attorneys felt they were ready to make their final selections. Each side submitted their seven preemptive strikes, which netted a jury of 14 (12 jurors and 2 alternates).

The clerk called out the numbers of the 14 who would stay for the trial . . . mine was not among them. I can make an educated guess on which side struck me from the pool even though the court didn’t indicate either way.

Earlier in the day, I ate lunch with two of the people who did get on the jury. If the other 12 are of the same quality as the two with whom I broke bread, the case will be in good hands.

So . . . I was free to get back to my “normal” life.

Oh . . and, the 1pm lesson . . . well, the mom called me in a panic . . . they had made an emergency trip and were not back in town yet. She was feeling really bad about canceling at the last minute until she learned I was also otherwise occupied. So, it all worked out for the best.

Even though I’m tired, I’m still going to teach tonight. I can make it. I’ll push through it.

On the way out of the courthouse this afternoon, I learned some sad news from one of the other dismissed jurors. As we were walking to our cars, she turned on her cell phone and discovered a text message from a friend. The message announced the body of Kayleah Wilson was found today in a ditch near her house.

I guess it is a mixed blessing . . . sad that hope is gone, but relief they now know where she is.


  1. Whew, that was close. I love being a juror, but not on a case like that. Recently, the son of a friend of mine faced his sexually abusive father in court. I wanted to be on that jury so bad – or at least asked questions so I could stand up and say, “I can’t be on the jury, I know the family personally. The bas!*$d did it, I know for a fact!” Actually, I’d have probably been arrested for saying that, but it would have “swayed” the jury. I’m glad you were not picked to serve – too much stress.

    • Hey, Ivory –

      I can imagine the defense team doesn’t want people on the jury who might address their own history by convicting the defendent. This whole process is pretty challenging for all involved!

      At this point in the process, I was pretty invested in the outcome . . . I had gotten emotionally involved. I was somewhat glad to not be selected and somewhat sad that I had been dismissed.

      Tough stuff!

      – Marie

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