Friday, November 8, 2013

Jury Duty

Oh, jury duty.  You bitch.  If you hang out with me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook you've heard me bitch about having jury duty for the past three days.  Yep, you read that correctly.  THREE DAYS.  I spent the two weeks leading up it listening to everybody tell me I would go in for half a day and then be sent home.  So, I assumed that would be case, so I woke up at seven in the morning on Tuesday, after being up until one in the morning, spent my entire day at the courthouse, went straight to work that night, and then went BACK to the courthouse the next morning, where I spent my entire Wednesday until four in the afternoon.  That's right.  That would be 33 hours awake.

That's a whole lot easier in college, my friends.  When you're in your late twenties like me, sleep has to happen.  So, I went directly to sleep when I got home and woke up fourteen hours later, and went BACK to the courthouse.  Yeah, that 'half a day' you assholes kept talking about, turned into three whole days.  Guess I'm lucky?  Whatever.  They finally ended up picking a jury at the end of my third day, and their fourth day overall of deliberating, and I was fortunately not one of the sixteen out of fifty two.

Smell ya later, jury duty! Love, Juror 178
 Because not only did this take up this week, it would have taken up next week as well, and in Tampa, with no phone, internet, or television.  This case was NO JOKE.  What do I mean by no joke?  I mean death penalty.

Annnnnnd cue Tina getting serious for a bit.

I'm not a political person by any means.  And I am extremely indifferent on a lot of issues, which I guess kind of makes me the perfect juror.  Makes sense why they kept me around for so long now.  Before this week, if you were to ask me how I felt about the death penalty, I would have more than likely shrugged my shoulders and said I was maybe more for it than against it but didn't really feel strongly in either direction.  Being asked that same question directly in front of the person you would potentially be sending to their death?  This birdy changed her tune.  How am I supposed to look somebody my age in the eye and say I would have no problem agreeing to ending their life?  We started out the same way.  Somebody's child.  Maybe I was loved more, and cared for more, and given better opportunities and guidance in life.  I was formed to know that murder is not an answer.  Not a way out.  He was not.  Given the right environment, could he have been a totally different person?  Was he given a fair chance at life?  Did he ever have a shot?  Would I have made the same decision if I had been in his shoes his entire life?

The most heart breaking of it all to me, aside from the two officers who lost their lives in this situation?  The last day of deliberation, he decided to wear a tie, and the way he tied it was in such a child like way.  I don't know why that got to me like it did, but it sent me to cry in the bathroom.  It was almost like he just doesn't know any better about life.  That he needed to be taught so much more before somebody sent him into the world to make these horrible decisions he allegedly made.

The closer we got to the jury being selected, I started to realize there was no way I could do this.  I couldn't be a part of something that would end a life, no matter what the circumstances.  I just know what emotional toll that would take on me, and I know that it would never leave me.

Forgive such a 'heavy' post to kick off everybody's favorite day of the week, but this was one of the most important, influential processes I have ever been through, and one I will never forget.

And thanks for reading even when I decide to take life seriously.  Happy weekend, kiddos.

1 comment:

  1. That is tough. I have always wanted to be on jury duty, call me crazy, but if it were a case like that it makes everything different. That would not be an easy thing to do.