A Cold April: My Time on the Jury of a Murder Trial

GavelOn Saturday, I drove past the scene of a murder.

There was the house of the victim, there was where the shooters stood. I could even see where the shooters parked their car for the getaway. They snuck through that yard, and over that fence, around the side there, and…

I circled the block three times, studying the real places that before only existed to me as images on a screen or as a faded picture circulated between me and the others on the jury. But it was real, so very real, and strangely all smaller than I expected. I think I made them all bigger in my mind, because during the three weeks I was on the trial they felt big.

So very big…

Monstrously huge, making everything in my life, my concerns, my worries, seem small and petty.

You worry about bills? We were discussing life and death and part of that was on me. Guns and bullets and questionable detectives and criminals aplenty. Two weeks of witnesses and theories and arguments, and one week of deliberations. And here it is months later and I still haven’t come to grips with the fact that I had a hand in deciding whether someone would spend the rest of his years in a jail cell.

That was my life then in April and I hated every minute of it… and I hate that I still think about it so much today. Continue reading