Monday, April 14, 2008

Or, Was it Like This? Jury Duty, part II

So, you're walking a friend across the street to your uncle's car so you can take a guest home. As you would expect at 2:00 am, it's dark. Three times that day, you've been visited by a guy you don't really know, and from what a certain friend of yours has to say about this visitor, you don't want anything to do with him. In fact, the very reason you're taking this guest of yours home at such an hour is because he's heard that this visitor is on the prowl and is likely to return in his search for this certain friend of yours. You'd leave too, but it's your home and your family is in there after an evening of partying and celebrating your uncle's release from jail earlier the previous day.

Each time the visitor has come to the house, he's been demanding in his quest to find this certain friend. The visitor has brought friends. They appear to have been partying as well. You, from what this certain friend has told you, want nothing to do with these guys and wish that they'd just leave and never come back and you're wondering how in the world you got caught in the middle of this fiasco.

Before you leave the house to take your guest home, you pick up your stepson's pellet gun and a .22 caliber pistol you're uncle gave you earlier in the month just in case a business you and a certain friend are running out of the back of your home gets, well, interesting. As you start our across the street to your uncle's car, you hear a shout directed toward you. As you turn, you see in the darkness what looks to be the visitor with something in his right hand. His arms are raised and he appears to be flashing gang signs at you as he walks toward you.

You're not sure what's going on. You forgot your glasses inside. But this guy keeps coming at you and he's pretty angry. He wants to know about a certain friend of yours. You hear what sounds like a gun shot. All of this is happening way to fast and your first reaction is to raise the .22 and fire. Pop! Pop!

The angry shadow turns and runs toward the intersection to the north of you where you see two figures waiting. The shadow falls into the two figures. They take something from him and help him to a white station wagon near the corner to the east. You don't stick around to find out to see that the shadow, who actually is the visitor, is left draped over the hood of the station wagon. He slides down the hood as his legs give out. The visitor's face comes to rest against the grill of the wagon.

As you turn into the confines of your yard, you turn to see a tannish looking sedan speeding east toward safety. Police sirens sound in the distance. You walk into the house after hiding the gun you weren't legally supposed to have under a lawnmower in the back of your trailer. You wash your hands, grab some food, sit with your family, and try to look innocent before willingly surrendering to the police who have just arrived outside of your trailer.

One week ago today, I valiantly and passionately stood my ground against 9 other jurors in my belief that the defendant justifiably murdered the visitor in an attempt to defend his life as well as the lives of those inside the trailer. After deliberating for 4 hours, we broke for lunch. Within a half an hour of returning from lunch, I finally was able to convince the last juror that the defendant acted in self defense. After a year and a half of imprisonment, an innocent man will go home.