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The Hard Face of Reality

Jury duty lasted about 2-1/2 hours. After checking in to receive my juror number, we sat. An hour? An eternity? Finally we were lined up by number and moved into the courtroom in small groups to sit where a card had our number.

Just as the last of us came and the judge began to greet us, the defense attorney came up and whispered in his ear. The judge turned back to us, finished greeting us then sent us back into the hallway, where we sat. A half-hour? An epoch?

We were called to line up again, and then told to sit back down. A few minutes later we were told to go back in and sit anywhere. The numbered cards were gone. The judge told us that apparently the defendant, when he saw around 70 faces preparing to hear his case (selling a small amount of coke to an undercover officer), he realized this was for real, and it was better to make a deal. He’s in jail now.

The judge continued. There was another case on the docket and we were going to be selected and sit for that one since we were still there—a guy did an armed home invasion at his ex-wife’s. He got cold feet and made a deal. He’s in prison.

The judge said the docket was cleared for jury trials for the day. Thanks for your service.

It’s ironic how often folks think they can get off, until it’s time for the trial. We don’t think our sins are that serious, until we come face to face with the judge. Then we throw ourselves at the mercy of the court, hoping to reduce how much of our shadows are exposed.

There is an objective standard of right and wrong that is outside of our perceptions. How can we help our students perceive that, for their own sakes?


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