Not gonna talk about how my Thanksgiving was (made some good memories), and I’m even going to resist lamenting about that poor girl who died from kissing her boyfriend a few hours after he ate a peanut butter sandwich (yet one more thing you have to ask someone before you get involved). 

I spent the whole day at jury duty yesterday.  The charge was sexual assault against a child (aged 14 to 17), and the prosecutor and the defense spent about 3 hours asking the 60 of us questions as a group (not individually like I expected).  They threw out tons of scenarios (e.g. what if it was consensual and the girl was 17 and the guy was 21–would you be able to consider only giving probation with no prison time?), but neither I nor the people on either side of me said anything, and we were Jurors 4, 5 and 6, so we expected to get picked.  The judge struck some people off the roster because they’d object by saying they had to work to get paid, or because they would say they couldn’t be impartial because a friend had experienced something like this, or just that they couldn’t consider the full range of punishment (e.g. they couldn’t consider putting someone behind bars for 20 years in even the most extreme circumstances, or the opposite extreme would be that they would most definitely send someone to prison with no chance of probation no matter what).  I believe several of them were telling the truth, but it was pretty obvious that some were lying in an effort to get out of it.  Then the DA’s assistant and the defense were allowed to knock off an additional 10 people each (the defendant was there, and he was helping his lawyer choose).  I figured he’d want me for sympathy or something since I was the youngest male in the room, but I’m guessing they’re the ones who thought I was risky.  Bottom line is, someone didn’t like me, and I’m really curious to know who it was. 

A teenaged boy and a girl about 10 years old were in the courtroom with us because their mom homeschools them.  You don’t get field trips quite like that in public school, y’know.  We weren’t told the actual facts of the case, but my neighbors agreed that the details given for the hypothetical scenarios were a bit graphic considering that girl was there.  However, she was buried in a book most of the time. 

Anyway, I spent a lot of the time just searching myself, wondering what my true reaction was.  A dozen years ago, I probably would’ve gotten pretty riled up since I’d read this or that on how sex offenders get off with so little time.  But I didn’t find anything quite like that inside, and found myself instead wondering if I were there to try to give the guy more grace.  I didn’t hit upon any particularly profound thing, but recently I was having trouble remembering my sinfulness, so it was good for me to sit in that room and consider how that guy–if guilty–isn’t actually more sinful than me.  I’m really thankful for grace and mercy.

I wanted to get picked, but I guess one day off work is better than none! 

(For those 1 or 2 of you who might be wondering who I met at jury duty that I had a connection with, the juror next to me attended high school in Bay City just like my parents, and she was an old friend of my aunt since they were in the same class. I also talked for a long time with a cool guy who went to Jakarta International School, and it seems like I’ve met other people who went there.) 


16 Responses to “”

  1. wow. interesting day. i think the situation described in your last paragraph should be affectionately called “throwing a Huey”… what do you think?

  2. The frequency with which you “throw a Huey” never ceases to amaze me.  I don’t know if I would believe it if I hadn’t seen it multiple times with my own eyes.
    Enjoy the new mountain bike (after you get a pump and a helmet), and thanks again for dinner!  Oh, and the 2005 version of that helmet you liked is on sale at REI.  I highly doubt there’s much difference between it and the 2006 one you tried on.

  3. i don’t think i have ever heard anyone say that they wanted to get picked for jury duty.

  4. When did you start going to bed that early?? Thanks for the chat…

  5. thanks for the birthday wishes…sounds like you had an interesting day

  6. I have a friend who has be picked for jury duty several times, and she always get’s off the list by saying, “fry ’em.”
    I’ve never been selected myself, but I can imagine the different perspective you get when you are the one in the judgement seat.
    ps…I married a homeschooler (no jokes please) and he got to do all sorts of great things…like live the good part of a year in Mexico.

  7. FYI for anyone who reads this, but “throwing a huey” is an Australian slang expression that doesn’t mean what they’re implying it means.  :)Oh, and I’ve already started enjoying the new bike, although I’ve only bought a pump as of yet!

  8. that is interesting. i think it’d be interesting to do jury duty; i’ve never been summoned.
    also: i loved nigeria and i want to go back. but your explanation is probably quite logical. but it was movie-poster sized, so it seemed like they’d gotten the movie poster from somewhere?

  9. well, we were studying islam and radical islam, and nigeria is really important for that. and i study media’s reporting of radical islam/terrorism, and nigeria has possibly the most vibrant media in africa, besides south africa. so it was really interesting.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I thought “Throwing a Huey” had something to do with you… or a turkey gobbling… or both… LOL…

  11. Stephen – You were pulling out your brains!!!!! oh my goodness.. think about how dumb you would have felt if you would have kept going and pulled out your entire brains.

  12. Actually, I came on this one to thank you for your recommendation about ruebs. He’s awesome! And, um, from what I see here…you’re posts are pretty awesome too! (Sooo…what IS a Huey???) [scratchin da haid]

  13. Those lawyers don’t have a CLUE who they passed up!

  14. Have to say i cannot find a definition of ‘throwing a huey’ on google with safe search on and i aint going to disable the safe search so can you enlighten us?
    I can see why you would want to pull your brains out if you dont have a cycle helmet. You can store them somewhere safe whilst you “feel dumb” and ride your bike. Then put them back in when your head is safe again.
    Did you know Each year, nearly 1,000 persons die from injuries caused by bicycle crashes? Promoting Cycle helmets reduce head injuries, approximately 33% of all bicycle-related emergency department visits and 67% of all bicycle-related hospital admissions involve head injuries, 500 deaths a year would be prevented by the use of cycle helmets and 40,000 hospital admissions. If you want more info go here, or here to hear the alternate side. When you are convinced go here to learn how to correctly fit and wear your ANSI aproved helmet. This site also has tips on how to ride saftly.

  15. Yeah, I think lawyers would have been highly entertained by you.  You had a much more interesting experience with jury duty than I. 🙂
    How goes it, friend?  I barely saw you on Sunday!

  16. i’ve never had jury duty. . .that i know of.  and i must say, i know i would not be able to be very forgiving, at least in the sexual assault case.  it’s not a good thing, but it just stirs up my emotions too much i think.  have a good week. 

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