And So Begins My New Life

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I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some Thoughts On The Death Penalty

I'm going off topic for this post because my wife has been through a very emotional week of jury duty. She was on a sentencing jury to decide if the convicted would spend life in prison or receive the death penalty.

When people follow a trial, or hear about a convicted murdered, it's very easy for them to speak without thinking and say things like, "fry him!" It's not that we're mean and cold-hearted, but part of us has a longing to see justice done. And when juries come back and recommend life in prison, some people get upset and bent out of shape and feel like justice has not been served.

The truth of the matter is we just don't know what goes on in those trials, and what goes on in the jury rooms. I have watched my wife struggle daily with the issues facing her and her fellow jurors. Evidence was presented, each side made their case for why they wanted the sentence to be their way, and the jury sat through day after day of testimony from witnesses, victims, and families from both sides of the crime. All of this takes a mental and emotional toll on those who have to deal with it, and day after day my wife came home sad and drained and withdrawn. Finally, yesterday evening, she came home in tears after the jury, not by unanimous decision, but by majority vote, recommended the death penalty.

So the next time you hear about a jury debating a death penalty case, think about what it would be like to be on that jury, to have the responsibility of someone's life literally in your hands. And if that jury's decision doesn't agree with yours, think about all of the evidence they were presented with, versus the couple of paragraphs concerning the trial that you've read in the local paper, and have some empathy for them.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Granimore - been following your blog for a little while now. We have something in common - both of us spent time in the Navy in the mid 80's. So I guess there's no doubt we both love the U.S.

When I saw your post about your wife's jury duty, I had to post. I work for a law firm - a rather large plaintiff's firm, actually, here in the southeast. We have obtained large verdicts against many large companies - and every time, and I do mean every time, we hear "oh, those greedy trial lawyers".....yet they never ask themselves the obvious question - what in the world did twelve of my fellow citizens hear in that courtroom that outraged them enough to give THAT kind of money to somebody?" And then I think what an insult it is to every person who ever served on a jury - people who espouse "tort reform" do not realize that they are saying that people who sit on juries are too stupid to sift through evidence and come up with just verdicts. If that's so - then we need to do away with elections. Because you know where the jury pool comes from. Registered Voters.

My heart goes out to your wife, having to sit for a murder trial. I once worked on a capital case. I'm sure the details of the case will be in her mind for a while. Please tell her that there are folks out here that truly thank her for her service. People like her are the backbone of our justice system. And thank you, for supporting her. Oh - and thanks for letting me rant a bit.
See - and I bet you thought nobody was reading. ;-)

1:04 PM  
Blogger Granimore said...

Thanks for the comment,I appreciate you taking the time to read and post.
I can understand your frustration playing at "Monday Morning Trial Lawyers."
I'll admit I'm one of those who would say things, "When they strap you into Old Sparky, buckle up! It's the law."
At least, I used to say things like that. Now that my wife has been through this experience, I'll never view a death penalty verdict in the same way.

7:34 PM  

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