This last week I had Jury Duty. Honestly, I didn't really think I would be picked, even if I had to go the one day. The day of I was driving there (we have to go to Cripple Creek, which is about 45 minutes down a wind-y road), listening to worship music and really just having an awesome time with the Lord. After getting there, signing in, and watching the "orientation" video, we were given assigned seats. Well, mine was front and center. And from my previous experience, I know they pick the jury in order of seating. Sure 'nough, after a long, boring morning (Thank God they let me bring my crochet in! It kept my ADD hands nicely occupied!), a nice lunch, and another hour or so, I was put up in the jury box.
It was a civil case, so there were 7 of us (6, plus one alternate). 4 women, 3 men, and I was the youngest by at least 15 years. I'm guessing I was for sure a defense pick because I was younger, in jeans and a t-shirt, multiple piercings, and a Christian. But I was just safe enough that the prosecutor didn't mind me there (mom of 3 who crochets). The case was a rancher in his 70's who was hauling cattle for auction and had stopped by the side of the road when a young guy (I took him for about 25) reached down for a cigarette, veered to the right striking the cattle trailer, and possibly clipped the rancher who was at his driver side door. The reason I say I was a defense pick was the young man was young (yes I know that's redundant, ha), had multiple piercings, is in a band, and plays on his Church's Worship Team.
As the week went on I got to know the other 2 women who were on the base part of the jury (the 4th was our alternate). One of them was a new Moppets teacher in my MOPS group that I just didn't get to meet in the chaos of our first week (in fact, she's Mika's teacher for this year). They were both amazing Christian women and we had some great discussions. The first night of the trial, I had a dream where the light of the Holy Spirit was shining down on me and two other jurors (the other women) and the peace of God was on the defendant. I kept praying into that, wondering how this was going to play out. Unknown to me, one of the other women was also having similar dreams during the trial. On the second day, there was a witness by video that I really wasn't comfortable with. The Lord was really speaking to me about that and how to pray for that guy on the drive home that day.
While most civil cases here take about 3 days, this one ended up going 4 very full days. The prosecutor was taking his sweet time with all the witnesses and really painting a picture of this poor old man whose dreams were crushed because he was injured so badly 3 years ago in this accident. Despite that, I really didn't have a peace about just awarding him all these damages. They were asking for almost $400,000. When we finally got to the Jury room and got to deliberate, it was amazing for me. Not a single other juror was convinced he was actually hit or even tapped by the car or that any resulting injuries would have caused the long term issues he was dealing with. So all we were comfortable doing was giving him 3 months worth of ranch help and 50% of the medical bills for that time. So we awarded him about $6,500. And here in his closing statements the defense was begging us to just not go over $25,000!
The only way I can account for all of our hesitation and unity is the Holy Spirit. This whole experience proved to me once again something I should know without hesitation by now: God is in EVERYTHING - even Jury Duty.
Oh, and I got myself a reward for going through this week. It's something I've been wanting for a while now - Whaddaya think? :-)
Hint: it's the bottom one.
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