Saturday, January 17, 2009

The "Sequestered" Life:

So it’s Saturday and the Ashley Scott Trial seems to be in full swing already.

I debated whether to even blog about this, but I can’t help myself. Besides, I have a very “different” angle on the proceedings.

I have been reading and re-reading coverage from two different blog sites. Part of my interest has to do with the subject matter (I am human, after all)—and part of my interest has to do with the empathy I have for the jury (repeat previous parenthesis).

Even though it’s been about five months since I was a sequestered juror on a murder trial, the thought of being locked in the jury room behind the courtrooms (down the maze of hallways) makes me panic, just a bit--even today.

Sitting at a rectangular table in an ever-shrinking room, having absolutely NO idea WHEN you are going back to the courtroom is a very unexplainable feeling. Yes, the trial is tedious. Yes, the details are often gruesome.

It is a serious matter and since you are “locked away” and your ONLY job in the entire world is to listen—and eventually come to a unanimous decision—you want to GET IT DONE!

The Sequestered Life

We never got back to our hotel room (shared, not singles) until nearly 10pm every night. And we were up by 5am (awakened by deputies, not alarm clocks) so we could be ready by 6am to meet for breakfast (together)...

Breakfast. Sure, it was good and decent food (very good and decent and more than I've ever had for breakfast in years)...but you are hidden away, unable to talk to "strangers" aka anyone one other than fellow jurors or deputies.

No newspapers. No television. No Internet. No cell phones. Imagine all of your "regular" distractions taken away. Yes, EVERYTHING!

Side note: How many people do YOU think you can fit in an elevator? Random question? No. We regularly had 14 in one. YES! FOURTEEN people in ONE smallish elevator

*imagine Tetris puzzles here*

Nevermind, I will provide one! Now I guess I have to point out that this picture is NOT to scale, but it is very close.

We were often walking into 201 Poplar by 8am every morning. (after leaving a bus, driven and secured by even more Shelby County deputies)...

Worth repeating. A bus. On 240, I-40 or "Bill Morris Parkway" during rush hour traffic. My entertainment was looking into cars and watching people chat on cell phones, eat breakfast or put on make-up.

And back to "Walking." It is really a slow form of "Marching" in single-file, guarded on both sides by deputies--eyes forward (fingers on lips) being swept away into an awaiting door...into an awaiting elevator.

No one breaks the line. No one gets out of formation. It's serious business. Did I mention I became friends with one of my deputies? We all did. They were our guardian/big brother(s)/big sister throughout the entire ordeal.

MORE to follow soon. In the Ashley Scott Trial the jury is FINALLY back! They are out. Wait...they are BACK in the courtroom. Oh Brother!


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