Turnout was encouraging
You may think I am talking about an art show but not this time. It’s Tuesday morning and at 9:30 a.m. I was voting along with a lot of my neighbors. In fact, it was the busiest I can remember. Everyone coming in was glad to see such a good turnout.
In the past, I had been one of those who were very critical of our court system.
However, more than a few years ago, I was called to serve on a federal jury involving a large drug case. I was the main breadwinner and worker for my small business and being called to serve wasn’t high on my agenda but I did.
The case lasted several weeks and while the case was being discussed in the courtroom, we, the jurists, while waiting and in downtime, engaged in a lot of small talk mainly about each other and what we did for a living. We were from all over the state and very diverse in our occupations.
I was quite surprised that the actual case never entered our conversation until it was given over to us to make the decision.
I was one of the holdouts in our deliberations because I didn’t hear in the testimony the incriminating evidence I felt was necessary for conviction. In my defense, I had a hard time understanding the Jamaican accent in the recorded telephone calls.
I had the court play them over and over until I understood what was being said, then, I was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was guilty. Now there was one person left undecided. After a few more hours, the person said that he would give in because the rest of us were so sure.
That was when everyone disagreed because we did not feel he should give in for that reason. At that point he had to convince us that he decided because he felt that the person was indeed guilty.
That was the first and only time I actually served on a jury. I found it to be a very enlightening experience and it made me feel good about the entire system.
I am hoping that in the next few years, I will start to feel confident about our other parts of government.
I am not an easy person to convince and congress is next on my agenda for scrutiny. I haven’t seen much to brag about in the last 50 years.
I hope the next 50 is completely different and they can work with our executive branch and get us on the right track.
The entire world is watching us and will act or react accordingly.
Harry Croghan is a local artist, photographer, writer and teacher.