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Jul 2016
clear light skin
dark hair with big curls
he resembled a kid we used to babysit
slight in stature
humble in posture
a look of shock and disbelief
deep seated in his baby face
and bubble eyes
his demeanor saying
“I don’t belong here”
a soft peach colored long sleeved shirt
clean, pressed and tucked in
with pants pulled up
no gangbangers’ stereotype
a picture of innocence
clearly a child
being tried as an adult

I kept close watch
during jury’s selection
with the miracle of real-time captioning
listening with my eyes
darting from screen
to arena’s drama
back to screen
observing potential jurors’ interaction with
defending and prosecuting mouthpieces
body language says so much
trumpeting the seriousness

with capital punishment looming
jurors absorbed spiels
the presumption of innocence
the credibility of evidence
the ability to objectively choose death

I would tell myself
the defendant didn’t just do this
to the decedent
I would tell myself
the defendant did this to himself
I would tell myself
it’s not my job to decide
if he lives or dies
I would tell myself
only to decide
if the crime defines death’s statute
all personal feelings aside
but I’d also tell myself
this is just a kid

thank God
I wasn’t selected
© 07/06/2015
Written by
Del Maximo
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