And so she returns

February 8, 2007 | General

a wiser but sadder woman after more then a week on jury duty. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Our defendant was charged with One Count of Murder and One Count of Murder in the Perpetration of a Robbery. The judge would not tell us the punishment for each crime as it should have had no bearing on the evidence and verdict.

We listened to the Prosecutor and Defense Attorney bring in their truths and red herrings. The Prosecutor lost a lot of ground by his antics. In fact, all the jurors were insulted at how he talked down to us, as if we could not walk and chew gum at the same time. The guy was a real piece of work. A pompous ass as one juror decided.

The defense attorney was a true professional. He questioned each witness with a calm, polite manner as he worked through the crimes. Unfortunately, it was one thing he said in passing that finally cinched the verdict for us all.

It took many hours of debate and frustration as we each fought with our consciences, but eventually we all agreed on the verdicts. Not guilty on the Count of Murder, but guilty on the second charge.

Back at home, curiosity got the better of me and I researched the Indiana criminal sentences to discover Indiana still imposes the death penalty for murder. On the second count, the minimum sentence is 65 years.

There is a sadness that swallows me every day as I think of this young man and how he ruined his life for a few hundred dollars. It saddens me further to realize our world has resorted to this condition.


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6 Responses to “And so she returns”

  1. Barbara Says:

    “Journey Toward Justice” Changed my mind about the Death Penalty. A Book Recommendation: This is the Companion book to John Grisham’s The Innocent Man, Journey Toward Justice by Dennis Fritz. Journey Toward Justice is a testimony to the Triumph of the human Spirit and is a Memoir. Dennis Fritz was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder after a swift trail. The only thing that saved him from the Death Penalty was a lone vote from a juror. Dennis Fritz was the other Innocent man mentioned in John Grisham’s Book which mainly is about Ronnie Williamson, Dennis Fritz’s co-defendant. Both were exonerated after spending 12 years in prison. The real killer was one of the Prosecution’s Key Witness. Read about why he went on a special diet of his while in prison, amazing and shocking. Dennis Fritz’s Story of unwarranted prosecution and wrongful conviction needs to be heard. Look for his book in book stores or at , Journey Toward Justice by Dennis Fritz, Publisher Seven Locks Press 2006. .
    Read about how he wrote hundreds of letters and appellate briefs in his own defense and immersed himself in an intense study of law. He was a school teacher and a ordinary man whose wife was brutally murdered in 1975 by a deranged 17 year old neighbor. On May 8th 1987, Five years after Debbie Sue Carter’s rape and murder he was home with his young daughter and put under arrest, handcuffed and on his way to jail on charges of rape and murder. After 10 years in prison he discovered The Innocence Project, a non-profit legal organization. With the aid of Barry Scheck and DNA evidence Dennis Fritz was exonerated on April 15,1999 Since then, it has been a long hard road filled with twist and turns and now on his Journey Toward Justice. He never blamed the Lord and solely relied on his faith in God to make it through. He waited for God’s time and never gave up.

  2. Sloane Says:

    Barabara, this is an amazing story and one I’d not heard. Thank you for sharing the information.

    Dennis Fritz went through a horrible time and I’m glad to hear his faith and abilities not only proved his innocence but brought the true criminal to justice. I definitely will buy Journey Toward Justice.


  3. Beth Anderson Says:

    Yeah, Sloane, greed, even a little amount of greed, as illustrated in your blog, will get ya every time. I wish all of our young people (and definitely our politicians) would get that into their thick heads and consider what it really means.

    I can sympathize with your feelings about sitting on that jury. As decent people sitting on a jury, it’s normal to want to find the good in the criminal because we don’t want to feel responsible for them spending most of their life in prison, or worse, getting the death penalty. But the important thing to remember is, we didn’t commit the crime that got them into that jam. THEY committed it. Do the crime, you do the time is how I see it. Unfortunately though, for some reason when people kill others in the commission of another crime, they never seem to think the consequences will fall on their heads. But it does, so congratulations for having the courage to come up with the verdict you all did.

    Welcome back, by the way. 😉

  4. Sloane Says:

    Thanks, Beth. You’re right in your thinking and I appreciate your support.

    I don’t think it hit the kid as to what he’d done unitl he saw the grave removal photos. Bad, bad, bad.


  5. Tami Dee Says:

    Sloane, I have been wondering how your jury duty went. It is a big responsibilty that you took on, and it is touching that you took your duty so seriouesly. In time the mixed feelings you seem to be having will smooth out, yet you will keep the lesons that you learned through the prosses and from having a part in the consaquences close in your heart and you will grow as a person.

  6. Sloane Says:

    You are so right, Tami. I did learn a lot and it has changed much of my thinking. Now I pray for a better world.

    Thank you for your concern. You’re a kind woman.