Many years ago, my name must have been on the "This Woman Loves Jury Duty" list! I served on three jurys in a short period of time! I got very tired of finding someone to tend my children, being a guest speaker in Camille's fourth grade class, and listening to every lame excuse that others were given as to why they couldn't serve; "I have a real bad gas problem, your honore, you won't want me here!" That guy was excused while the rest of us breathed a sigh of relief.
The following year, my name came up again! This time it was for a murder case that had been appealed because of a jury malfunction. The case was that of a man who snuck in to his ex-in-laws basement and shot the boyfriend of his ex-wife. It had been in the papers for weeks and had turned our small Utah town into a little Chicago! (no offense)
We met in the court room while the judge explained to all the jury candidates that he was going to take extra precaution in selecting the jury. There was not going to be another appeal and the defendant deserved a fair trial! Fair trial!!! I knew the man was guilty of murder! I had formed that opinion the first time I read about it in the paper. His ex-wife hadn't forgotten what he looked like and knew it was him standing there shooting her boyfriend!
We met in the judges chambers one by one. When my name was called, I stepped in, had a seat and looked around the room. The judge, the defense attorney, the prosecuting attorney and Mr. Smiley (the murderer) were seated in there with me. The defendant was wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a RED tie!
My thoughts immediately turned to the blood that had been spilled on the basement floor. "Murderer!", I thought to myself.
The judge asked me questions. Then stated that the trial would last at least 2 weeks and asked if there would there be a problem with my being gone for 2 weeks from my family. I opened up my Franklin Day Planner, then turned to the judge and said, "This Thursday is Stake Lagoon Day! My kids would MURDER me if we don't go!" I was shocked! Did I really say, "murder"? The judges eyes got big then he had a hint of a smile. He excused me and told me to wait outside his chambers. After a few minutes, I was summoned back in. "Mrs. L", (you'd think we would have been on a first name basis after all the times I served with him!) "I'm going to excuse you. We certainly don't want another murder trial on our hands!" Red faced, I picked up my trusted Franklin Planner, thanked him, avoided eye contact with the red-tied murderer and quickly left the court house.
I did a heel click outside on the steps!
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