Who’s Guilty?

31 Jan

This week I had the blessing of being able to watch our legal system from an incredibly new and unique vantage point. I was called to jury duty. I always thought that since I went to law school, I would be exempt from jury duty. Alas, I was not. While the week I was originally assigned was in a few weeks, I will be assisting in a Bible Quiz at that time and, therefore, I needed to reschedule. I was rescheduled for this week, which wreaked havoc on my schedule for this week.

Jury Duty is a unique experience where you show up and sit in a room with about 800 other strangers. I was amazed that with there being 800 people that live in my county around me, I didn’t seem to recognize anyone. At any rate, the moderator begins to send people to rooms in groups of 25. At about 2:30, my group was selected. Eighteen of us were chosen to be potential jurors. While I was not one of those 18, six were eliminated for various reasons and I was chosen to be on the panel of 18. After various questions were answered, seven jurors were chosen. I was in that group.

Therefore, I was able to see a criminal trial from the perspective of the jury box. This was an incredible experience. I saw that it matters how good your advocate is. The fate of this man was in the hands of a couple of attorneys in many ways. And both of these attorneys were fine advocates. They both did a good job, and they both advocated well. There was a judge who did a wonderful job also. I was actually quite encouraged by the show of professionalism in the courtroom. On a personal note, I thought about if this was something I might want to consider doing in my life. While that may be something to ponder and write about later, I will not let it deviate me here.

Above all of that, as jurors, we were instructed to observe the law. Observing the law, I wondered how many times I had fallen short of the legal standard in my life, both intentionally and unintentionally. While the laws of the state of Florida may be able to be followed, I thought about how much more significant my falling short of the laws of God is. I am chronically sinning. I can’t seem to bumble through a single say without displaying this nature.

The difference between me and any defendant in the legal system is that everyone knows I’m guilty. My advocate has already paid the penalty for that guilt and given me imputed perfect following of the rules. This is something that no human court has ever seen, nor could it work very well. And, for that, I am incredibly happy!


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