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We Want To Hear The Rest Of That Woman’s Story!

, , , , , | Legal | July 18, 2021

When I was fresh out of college, I got called up for jury duty. It was actually a pretty fascinating experience and I highly recommend it. Some of the people I served with, though, were… interesting.

We’d agreed on most of the fourteen or so criminal charges in the case, including two of the three counts of child endangerment. Now, we were discussing the final of those. One of the criteria we were told for being guilty of this particular charge was that the child had to feel endangered. The child in this case was a baby. All but one of us concluded that, due to the particular circumstances, the baby had no idea what was going on and thus didn’t feel endangered and thus the person wasn’t guilty of this particular charge.

The holdout was a woman from the Caribbean — I forget where precisely. I point this out only to explain the sentence structure of her argument since English was her second language or perhaps even third. This is how the argument went, verbatim.

Woman: “When I was in my country, one day, I try to feed my baby. He wouldn’t take the breast! Wouldn’t take the breast!” *Pauses* “Lightning come down, set fire to the house!”

The Rest Of Us: “…”

Woman: “…”

The Rest Of Us: “…”

Me: *Grasping at straws* “Um…okay, so… you’re saying that babies have some kind of sixth sense about what is going on around them, so this baby knew that the man was threatening him even though the baby’s mother wasn’t really worried about the guy?”

Woman: “YES! Babies know!”

Everyone else proclaimed their disbelief.

Me: “Okay, why don’t we move on to the other charges and come back to this one later?”

Eventually, we were able to convince her that, in this case, lightning not come down, not set fire to the house, as far as this baby was concerned.


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