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I Was Called for Jury Duty

Four days after the jury reached a verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, it would be my turn to possibly hold all power in my hands in deciding the fate of an alleged criminal in my community. Notice I said "alleged" because the judicial system says we are to believe that everyone charged is innocent until proven guilty.

On the day I arrived for jury duty, I looked around and saw dozens of potential jurors waiting to learn their fate. Many were not happy to be there. They had conflicting schedules and felt jury duty was an interruption to their lives. I, on the other hand, welcomed the idea of being called to serve. I wanted the opportunity to lend my voice on behalf of the victim or the suspect---depending on which side seemed to have the strongest case.

I was angry about the outcome of the Trayvon Martin trial and even more angry when I got to hear juror #B37 explain what was going on during deliberations. Based on of the words that came from her own lips, the jury seemed to have no clue for what they were basing their final decision on. The Stand Your Ground Law didn't even apply in the case, yet they chose to use it in determining the NOT GUILTY VERDICT.

Subsequent articles have come out discussing how jurors were treated during the trial, which may very well have had a bearing on the final outcome.

Being on a jury was also my opportunity to get revenge. It would allow me to convict a white boy who had committed some heinous crime against a black person in our community. It would give me satisfaction knowing that "an eye for an eye" would balance the scales of justice. Oh, but wait a minute. It is rare to see a young white man go to trial for doing something criminally against a black male in my community. It did happen once as I recall when a Texas man shot and killed a Pennsylvania teen as the two crossed paths in Durham.

Young whites who commit crimes normally have parents who are able to work out deals with Prosecutors in order to get the case dismissed or lesser charges so they end up being nothing more than "petty crimes" that kids commit. These stories don't make headlines for the media.

After six hours of waiting the potential jurors were notified we would not be called to serve and dismissed. There was a loud cheer in the room. I, on the other hand, walked away extremely disappointed because I would not get the opportunity to serve. This would have been my way of releasing some of the angst I felt over the Zimmerman verdict. I really wanted to understand how the judicial process works from a juror's mind so that, maybe in the end, I could really make sense of how those Sanford, FL jurors thought in reaching their NOT GUILTY verdict.

If there's one consolation, I did get paid for serving. $12.

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