12 years ago today, a man was robbed and then killed outside his liquor store/check-cashing business by two men.
1 month and 1 week ago, I was called for Jury Duty, along with about a hundred other people who thought they wouldn’t make it to the final Jury.
For the last 4 weeks, I’ve been sitting on a jury with 14 other people (including alternates) and trying my damndest to keep a bunch of court-assigned balls in the air. One was to remain fair and impartial throughout the whole proceedings until deliberation, and to consider that just because someone is arrested doesn’t mean they’re guilty. Another ball was to keep myself free of preconceived biases (easy) but also to not allow myself to be swayed by emotion or pity (really, really hard). A pretty green ball was not to necessarily trust or distrust policemen or scientists just because they’re policemen or scientists. A heavy ball was, no, Lauren, you cannot yourself shout out “objection” or ask the questions you think it would have been better to ask, and could you please keep down the laughter when the defense tries to discredit the concept of DNA? The worst ball of all was the large black ball that stated I could not twitter, facebook, or blog about the deluge of emotions I felt every single day, all the way from the day the DEFENDANT LOOKED AT ME, AAH! to the stapler in the courtroom that looked EXACTLY like a shark and wasn’t even designed to, but I wanted daily to take a picture of it, and it just sat there taunting me to the Jaws theme song in my head.
It’s over now. I can talk. Only in text, though, because being around so many lunatics at the courthouse every day exposed me to a killer death virus I really, really hope is not swine flu because I’m supposed to be having a soiree on Monday and my new pregnant friend is going to be there and WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO?! So, I’m going to try to sleep for many hours and see if that does anything to help my health.
Then I’ll come back to you and tell you all about this horrible, interesting, life changing, someone else’s life changing, honorable, but also I sort of don’t want to talk about it ever again as soon as I finish blogging it…civic-duty experience I had.