The subtitle for this post could be "Yet another thing that was never meant to be on my bucket list but that can now be crossed off". Continue reading at your own risk; this is a true story.
Okay, I'm beginning to see a pattern and I think the common denominator is me. It always starts out so innocently. Take Friday afternoon, for example.
Remember the end of January when I was on jury duty? And we convicted the defendant on two serious charges? Well, Friday was the sentencing. Yes, I had served on other juries before where there was a conviction and I did not go to the sentencing. But there was something about this recent case that has kept me in turmoil. No question the guy was guilty. I can only guess that it might be because of the trauma suffered by so many innocent people, with no remorse from the defendant, and having spent nine days immersed in testimony and deliberations. I guess I wanted to see this through to the very end.
So Friday afternoon, I took myself to the courthouse, went through security and up to the hallway outside the courtroom. Standing there minding my own business among quite a large group of people. One of the defendant's lawyers saw me and came to an abrupt halt. I thought she was going to say something, but she quickly moved on and I didn't think anything more about it. Until everyone left the area where I was standing! I moved to a different part of the corridor, away from the top of the stairs, and there was much whispering and moving away. Moses and the parting of the Red Sea came to mind! (No disrespect intended.) The courtroom doors finally opened and "the others" went in. I asked the bailiff if I was the only juror to come to a sentencing hearing and he said "Yes." Apparently no other juror in the history of at least this court has ever shown up after his/her stint on the jury was over. Until Friday.
I won't bore you with all the details, but statements were read from both sides to help the judge determine the appropriate sentence. One of the defense lawyers hinted that the jury was not smart enough to realize his client was not guilty (this is my interpretation of what was said, but I was trying to close my mouth and not jump over the railing). The defendant showed no remorse for his actions, only kept saying that he was such a great guy. I still think, even at sentencing, that he figured he was going to get off with no jail. Imagine his and his family's surprise when his bail was revoked and he was taken immediately from the courtroom to jail. There was a lot of shouting, angry words, bailiffs congregated to keep peace. Talk about tense. The good news? At least he didn't get just the minimum sentence, he has a long period of supervision upon his release from jail, and he must always register as a sex offender.
I wish I could say I feel better about this. But I think of the two women whose lives have been changed forever by someone else's stupidity. Lives can literally be changed in the blink of an eye. I hope you will join me in trying to make those changes positive. Even just a smile can give someone hope and encouragement.
Thank you for listening. I usually try not to post about things that are too serious, because I want people to come here for a laugh--or even a good guffaw--at my expense. And now you can see that I am the common denominator in so many weird things--both on and off my bucket list!