Jury Duty, Texas Style: Sentence

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

***

All left to do: pronounce sentence.

As it was so late in the afternoon (and we really wanted to score just one more pizza the following day), we retired for the afternoon, to return the next morning. Now, of course I thought we could make quick work of this business and not get any more pizza.

I was mistaken.

First of all, we had to sit in that musty courtroom for an hour or so, listening to the prosecutor drone on about how we needed (our civic duty) to throw the book at this kid whom we had unanimously recently convicted (Hardly unanimous, but hey! Who’s counting?)

Then we had to listen to The Defense chastise us roundly for convicting an innocent (innocent?) man.

Well, the Defense pissed me off. (Yes. My failing, but more on that later. Not something I am proud of today)

After a couple of hours of this, we retired to our ‘chambers’.

The air was not quite as contentious (almost) as it was the previous day, yet…

The minimum sentence we could pronounce was fifteen years.

Straight-away I had a more roundish number in my head: ‘Twenty’.

Hell! He would be out in seven, given good behavior and prison overcrowding.

Once again, Blue-Haired Lady was having none of this. And I did respect her emotion. Yet, damnit! That defense attorney done pissed me off (Shades of Peanut). How dare he say these words he said:

“Well, Ladies and Gentlemen of the ‘jury’ (Yes. Sarcasm was dripping, like something out of a drunken sailor’s mouth) since you have already made one ‘mistake’… do not make yet another, and give this man anything more than the minimum.”

With his sarcasm bouncing around in my head, I was bound and determined ‘he’, he being in my mind, the attorney (what an ignorant fool was I to think in any way that this ‘Council’ gave two shits about his ‘Client’) was going up for twenty and I fiercely lobbied for twenty.

Looking back now, I regret this.

Sincerely regret this.

Fifteen would have sufficed, but I stood firm and played upon the emotions and the exasperation of my fellows and got my wish.

As I said, I regret this now.

We gave him twenty.

Sorry Johnson, wherever you may be.

I am so sorry for tacking on five years for my ego, and only my ego, nothing more.

END

P.S. Writing this has taken much out of me. I had buried it long ago somewhere never to be felt again.

I hope you enjoyed it.

I did not.

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25 thoughts on “Jury Duty, Texas Style: Sentence

  1. I hate that it was painful for you, and you have regrets. Just remember, even though you gave him 20 years, he probably only spent 5.

    I’ve personally seen a murderer get a 40 year prison sentence, and yes, he was guilty without a doubt. He served 10 years, got a great education in the system, and now makes over $100,000 a year.

    Gotta make room for those evil pot smokers. sarcasm 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Anna. It was painful yes, but we did the right thing. There was no doubt that guy terrorized that woman. Twenty years might have been a little harsh, but as Baretta used to say… “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

      Concur with your last: Gotta get them stoners off’n them streets.
      Hahaha!

      Thanks for the read!
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. IF only we could go back, check our ego’s etc. Your words are out, let it go. And Lance, thanks for sharing this…who know’s there may be someone sitting on a jury right now reading this. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I did enjoy it. Thanks. I have no real problem with you giving the guy 20, but I suppose that is based on all the stuff you were supposed to forget and un-see. Ironic that thee is a “minimum sentence” But in giving him 5 years more, he only ends up in jail for half. Overcrowding because of misguided drug laws?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most definitely misguided drug laws. In Texas for many years you could get more jail time for possession of marijuana than homicide.
      Not sure things have really changed much.
      Thanks so much for reading.

      Like

    • Uh…Dude?
      Is this a compliment?
      I am a little fuzzy right now. (No, not intoxicated—blood pressure about to achieve escape velocity–and fucking headache from Mars)
      Ya gots me curiouser…and curiouser…
      Cheers,
      Lance
      Oh! And I do appreciate your read (and comments)

      Like

    • Ya know Friend, you have set my mind to thinking (never a good thing) about all the stories I have here just flapping in the breeze, languishing, unfinished. Your comment has made me realize: I need to finish them. If for nothing else, my own edification.
      I thank you for that.
      ‘Manana’
      –Lance

      Like

  4. Painful recountings are rarely enjoyed by the authors, but maybe retelling it and admitting your mistake will relieve you of the negative aspects of the memory. After all, there’s nothing you can do for that man now. All you can do is stop making yourself unhappy by judging yourself. Let it go, Lance. You’ll be happier for it.

    Liked by 2 people

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