Skip to main content

In a Nutshell

By Carl S ~

Anyone who watches the I.D. Channel, with its true crime cases, or CSI, finds out how crimes are solved. It's different when it's real rather than observed in the comfort of home on a TV screen.

I just came home after serving on a jury for three weeks. The case involved a man on trial for rape and murder. On the last day, after concluding arguments of prosecution and defense, we were instructed to go to the jury room to reach a verdict.

Since I was the first person to speak in the room, I pointed out the testimonies of friends and relatives as to the defendant's outstanding credentials in the community, and their protestations of disbelief he was capable of the crime. Then there were the testimonials of eyewitnesses, who, under cross-examination, contradicted one another.

On the other hand, I said, consider the evidence: The victim's blood was found on the defendant's clothing and in his house, his skin cells were found under her fingernails, his semen found in her body – all evidence confirmed through DNA tests. Therefore, I had no choice but to conclude he was guilty.

Reactions to this were totally unexpected. All the other members looked at me in shock and with disdain. One of them said, “He's innocent.” I said,” How can you possibly say that? Were you asleep or otherwise ignoring the evidence?” They all looked at me, insulted by this statement. Another member stood up and quietly said, “You just don't understand, do you? Let me explain it to you. It's because you are lacking in faith.”

Not knowing the final verdict, what do you think it was?

Truth be told, I made up this story. But doesn't it seem familiar to us because we recognize in it the “faith” and the “lack of faith” attitudes poisoning the chances of reasoning with the other “jury members?”