My Brothers & Sisters

Posted by Censor Librorum on Mar 3, 2006 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

I recently had my first experience of serving on a jury. I had successfully evaded jury duty for years, but was finally caught in the net last week. I would not trade that experience for anything, now. Working, discussing, and just the down time (waiting)with the other jurors had the unexpected gift of restoring my faith in the ultimate goodness of people. We could not have been a more diverse group in age, occupation, race, religion, national origin and, yes, sexual orientation. Our only common bond seemed to be a current Brooklyn, NY address. And yet, we all came together to render a decision based on testimony and the law; and to bear the weight of responsibility–together–on what impact that decision would make on the lives of all involved, including our own. It was humbling. And sad. Because the ripple effect of violence leaves everyone marked, including jurors. When the verdict was read by the forewoman, and we left the courtroom to go back to the deliberation room to get our things, people stood around awkwardly. It was hard to leave. It was like leaving our family behind to go. Before the trial commenced, I closed my eyes to pray that I would be a good juror, and that justice would be served at the end of the trial. On Ash Wednesday, the day after the trial ended, I sat in church and tried to sort out my feelings and the saddness I still felt. I prayed for everyone at the trial: victim, defendent, witnesses, lawyers, police officers, clerks, judge, family and friends who watched the trial unfold, and especially, the jurors. Was justice done? We hoped so, but ultimately we did not know. What we did understand was how in the space of a moment lives can be turned upside down. And what’s done in that moment can never be undone.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply