Judging Justice

*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

It seems to me that I am consistently confronted with the question of whether or not justice was met in any news story. Was the verdict just?

I recently served on the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury is different from regular juries in that we didn’t decide whether a defendant was innocent or guilty; instead, we decided if there enough evidence to bring the case to trial. It seemed to carry less weight. We did not feel we were responsible for sending an innocent person to jail, or letting a guilty person go free to commit the crime again.

Serving on the Grand Jury was a very educational experience. I learned that there are some pretty heinous people in my small community. I also learned that people can be brought to trial for some things I would consider trivial. Of course, I won’t go into details as that would be illegal. I swore an oath not to share what happened in the Grand Jury.

Still, the experience made me wonder. It is illegal to have drugs, drug paraphernalia, weapons, stolen goods, and all sorts of things I did not even know were illegal. It is illegal to be in a car with those things even if you did not know those things were in the car.

Yes, I knew I could be found guilty of association if I am somewhere that a crime is taking place; I just did not realize how frequently that happens. Or, maybe I was just innocent to the fact that so many people committing crimes use ignorance as a defense.

Anyway, the question for today’s post, following the theme of “What do you believe?”, is -do you think you would get a fair decision if your neighbor accused you of stealing their lawn mower even though you are certain your neighbor said you could borrow it? Would the Grand Jury decide that there was enough evidence to bring you to trial?

*Note, this is hypothetical as there was no such case brought before us.

 

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I am a dreamer who loves to explore the world through words. I hope to inspire others to live in peace and be their best selves. I also have an affinity for flamingos, gnomes, and all things magical. They live happily in my gardens.

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8 comments on “Judging Justice
  1. joey says:

    I remember giving people a ride home from college on weekends, saying, “No pot in the car. SERIOUSLY. NO POT IN THE CAR.” Even then I knew about my responsibility for my property. Sometimes though, you just don’t know. Makes one leery. The laws do not foster trust in our fellow man. :/

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I have a hard enough time with the fact that (at least) in CT, I can get a ticket for someone who refuses to wear a seat belt in my car. Sometimes, the person you’re giving (have been asked to give by your boss) a ride isn’t exactly someone you can order around or refuse.

    I would like to think I could trust a Grand Jury, but my understanding of the Prosecutor’s ability to manipulate to process against me makes me pause.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that is a strange twist on the law. I would like to think that if the person is over 18, they would be fined for not wearing a seat belt. As I only (generally) drive those under 18, they best have a seat belt on. I have even made that law clear to my drivers who drive their friends around. Imagine, $75 for each passenger unwilling to wear it. But then again, imagine the out of control vehicle running into you with unbelted passengers. Oi, you made a good point. Also, I will say some of the officer presenting cases were much more eloquent speakers than others, and that did make a difference on what I thought about the so called crimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Josh Wrenn says:

    For me, I know I would get fair consideration for that hypothetical, but only because I don’t have a lawn. – LOL
    I would imagine I would get fair treatment, but I am in a privileged group. I am not 100% confident in the justice system. There are terrible flaws with it. The type of people I tend to associate with, and my own aversion to doing anything I can get in trouble for, leads me to believe I am one of the lucky people to never have that tested.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I suspect nobody would accuse you of stealing a lawn mower, unless it is a riding mower and you needed a quick get away. I did feel very happy to not be living the lives of some of those people. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that my parents raised me to know right from wrong, and I always had a home and food.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Barb Knowles says:

    I really like this post. I served on a grand jury a couple of years ago and it was horrifying. I thought I would be immune to the horror from tv. But seeing what people will do to each other changed me.

    Liked by 1 person

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