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The Run Away Juror

When is it important to stand up or speak your mind? Does it matter if what you say is popular or not? I believe it is important. I can remember when I served on the jury after the racially charged environment of the O. J. Simpson criminal charges. After he was found innocent of the charges and released. But, found guilty of civil charges to the Goldman family. I was summons to the jury to do an important job for my country with an open mind to get to the truth. Not interject my own opinions or need allow what was happening in the world to influence my thoughts so that the state would not be wasting its time and money. Most important not to forget that the person on trial receives a fair and just verdict from the jury. After me and the others were chosen to sit on this particular jury there was a man who asked if we all mind if he became our Foreman? I found this awkward, but the abundance of our jury automatically agreed without voting or asking his qualifications to take the lead or asked him other important information. We were told not to discuss anything about the trial until the testimony and exhibits were all shared and presented. Only then should we talk amongst each other and reach a verdict. The next day he stated that he had a dream that night, he was the head juror and he begins to lose his teeth. As a dream interpreter the first thing that came to my mind is that he would do something to embarrass himself. After listening to the testimony of the witnesses and receiving the evidence we retired to the jury room with our notes taken through the trial, to determine whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. This is the moment we had been waiting. Now remember at the beginning I told you it was during a highly racial climate. Reginald Denny, had been attacked at a four way stop sign. I believe he saw the riot that blocked his path and decided to get out and ask for directions before being attacked. When we were in the jury room the first words that came from the Head juror and another juror was they believed he was guilty and took an immediate vote. All eight male and female Caucasians said guilty, one Asian lady said not guilty, one Mexican male, and a Mexican young female said not guilty, and myself the only African-Native American not guilty. We stated how we could immediately take a vote when the evidence and testimony had not been taken into consideration for we were to have a discussion and not a conclusion without doing so. I stated we are not adhering to the rules, he is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. The next day the majority jurors stated how many side bars that Judge Hershey had called for with the attorneys. They hung up a drawing of a Hershey bar. The judge was an African American and I thought how horrid to disrespect the Judge. After a discussion that day we took a vote and two more found him guilty. Ironically it was the two Mexicans the Foreman talked into changing their mind. The next day everyone was becoming frustrated they wanted to end this thing so that they could go home. This Asian lady who did not believe he should be found guilty because the evidence did not support conviction but she allowed the pressure to overwhelm her and she changed her vote to guilty.   Now, the only person left was me, and I stated that we could only find him guilty if there was no reasonable doubt, but I found plenty doubt. They begin to say horrible racial things and told me that if I did not change my mind I would be standing alone and would hang the jury. That I was stupid and would be standing alone that they would no longer try to persuade me I would be looking dumb by myself. They called the security guard in and stated we were ready with the verdict. When the Foreman gave the verdict to the Judge the Foreman was asked to stand and read the verdict. He read, “we the have a hung jury your honor”, as the Foreman smiled, the judge asked “who found the defendant not guilty?” I stood and said, “I did your honor.” The judge commented I had done a great job because the evidence didn’t support a guilty verdict. I was so upset I did not return back to the jury room after the trial I went straight out the front door.