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Fair and Impartial

Monday morning, I walked into a courtroom with 64 other prospective jurors. The question: could 12 of us hear a criminal case and remain fair and impartial?

I walked in believing I could. I left knowing I couldn’t.

Being part of jury selection on a criminal case is emotional. I heard 64 stories of the worst days people had ever experienced. Rape, murder, abuse, life altering theft… Heart-breaking stories.

On day one, we were all plotting ways to be released and talking about our jobs. By day two, folks were scheduling appointments with their therapist and consoling each other over shared grief.

Everyone has a shitty story buried inside.

So, why was I released?

Every time I saw the defendant, I thought of my uncle. He was only a few years older than me so we were like cousins. He spent seven years in prison for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

I couldn’t be the one to put him there.

👨‍⚖️ chan