John sat in the jury box of the court and watched in total boredom as the lawyer made his case.
'As an individual of the jury you have to take every case seriously as your decision may affect someone's life blah blah blah...' He remembered his wife nagging him the morning before they left their house.
He remembered getting the letter as he sorted through the morning mail, mixed in with other bills and worthless junk the government dispersed to its citizens.
His wife was at the sink doing the dishes and he read out the mail for her too, in case he was about to trash something she needed.
In a singsong manner, he read out each letter title and put it in the trash.
Light bill --- Trash
Water bill --- Trash
Garden refurbisher ad --- Trash
Jury invitation letter --- Trash
But the shout from Miss John made him immediately regret reading that last one out.
"How can you just throw out the Jury invitation letter ?" She asked, cleaning her hands with a towel.
"Uhh like this." I said, showing her how I picked the letter up and put it in the trash bin.
"You can't just label a Jury invitation as trash.. It is our solemn duty to honour the invitation as citizens of this proud country." She replied while collecting the letter from me and opening it.
"It says there's to be a hearing tmw." She reads the letter out loud.
"I can't make it." I argued.
"Oooh, what are you doing tomorrow?"
"Not going to court." I state flatly.
"John Neville Richard. You're going to that court even if I have to handcuff you and drag you there myself." She states, putting the folded invitation in the pocket of her blouse.
And that's how I was found by 8am in the morning on a Saturday at a court hearing and I wasn't on trial.
I looked at the clock and found out that it was already 9am.
"I should have just trashed the stupid letter." I said under my breath.
"Jury number 9, anything you would like to share about the case at hand?"
The judge called me out.
I looked at the man on trial and read a list of his supposed crimes that was handed out before the lawyer began.
The whole court was looking at me expectantly so I simply stood up and said whatever that came off the top of my head.
"With the amount of evidence, I'll have to discuss it with the fellow jury before I can say anything, my Lord." I replied back to the judge.
He simply nodded his head and I sat back down. I looked at my wife, Jury number 12 and she just smiled back.
After 30 more minutes of dreaded court time, the judge finally stood up and announced,
"May the jury step back to discuss what they've learned and make a decision."
At that prompt we were filed and led into a room at the back where we were simply meant to decide on if he's guilty or not.
Immediately I got there, the members of the jury had already started taking their seats.
"So what are we going to choose?" Juror number 3 asked.
"It's pretty clear that he's guilty." Juror 4 said
"Yes, the evidence does clearly point that way." Juror 1 agreed
"But the evidence is still a bit vague. I mean just an eye witness saying he held the gun and we don't have a fingerprint of the gun?" Juror 2 asked skeptically
Everyone stayed quiet for a while thinking.
"I think he's not guilty." I said raising my hand for no reason.
I felt embarrassed while I put my hands down as everyone looked at me.
"I mean, yes the evidence does point to him, but there are holes in it, like he said about the gun." I say agreeing with Juror 2
"Plus he doesn't look like a killer." I say as I remembered the face of the man on trial.
"Looks can be deceiving, you know." Juror 10 said.
"Let's simply put it to a vote, we don't have much time." Juror 11 said as she glanced at the clock.
Everyone agreed and so the 12 members of the Jury voted.
7 went for guilty and 5 went for not guilty.
I looked at my wife as she raised her hands when the votes were called for the suspect being guilty.
After the vote, the court hearing was wrapped up pretty quick with the man sentenced for 25 years of prison.
He shaked with grief and cried his innocence as the police dragged him away.
On our way back, I asked my wife how she felt about the court and she pulled out airpods from her ears.
"How long have those been in your ears?" I asked, shocked.
"The whole time, actually." She replied. "The case was a rather boring one, right? Good thing I came with them"
With a smile on my face and my lips sealed, I drove on home to try and enjoy what little time of my Saturday I had left.