Sorry for the dearth of communication this past week. I received a Jury Duty summons and I guess, despite my soul patch and need of a haircut, I exude fairness and impartiality. I was immediately chosen for the first jury pool, was one of the first 12 chosen for questioning, and got picked on the first go-round.
That trial ended in a plea without the jury being empaneled, so the Judge asked us to come back the next day, in case we were needed for another trial.
Once again, first pitch, out of the park. Chosen, picked, seated, and this time, empaneled. So for the rest of the week and half of this past Monday, my fellow jurors and I listened to evidence meant to prove or disprove that a man in his 60's had committed sexual battery against one of his daughter's 16-year old friends.
It's hard stuff to listen to, and a hard decision to make as to which party is telling the truth. In the end, we all agreed that the state's evidence proved that the guy did it.
I dreaded going to Jury Duty, but I met some really interesting people. Since we couldn't talk about the case, and we spent several hours a day outside of the courtroom talking about each other while matters were discussed outside of our presence.
One man's son just made captain in Iraq, and also just received the Bronze Star. His pride in his son and his service shone on his face, but what was just as evident is how worry for his son's safety was constant.
This week in Atlanta, near my old neighborhood, in fact (I lived in Grant Park for 2 years in the late '90s) a tornado did a lot of damage. It passed just 4 blocks from my last place of employment, broadcast design firm Primal Screen. I saw pictures of damage to buildings I used to drive by every day to and from work, so I was worried for my friends still living there.
I had not had an opportunity to talk to any of them much over the last year, so it gave me a little bit of a chance to catch up with some of them, and a chance to thank my old boss for surrounding me with tin toy robots for a couple of years. That and his example that it's never too late to do something you love have helped me out a bit. And I found out one of my friends is about to have a baby.
So somewhere, a guy just received a sentence (don't know yet what is was) for doing something stupid and inappropriate. Most likely, he will have to register as a sex offender, which means all his neighbors will get a letter telling them of his status. The parents of his daughter's friends will have to consider whether they should let their daughter go over to his house, or even associate with his daughter. And that's all bad for his family. But it's less likely that he'll ever do what he did again.