Sunday, March 2, 2014

Presumed Innocent

What a week! I was summoned to Jury Duty on Thursday and when I arrived there, I found out that I was chosen for a murder trial. A domestic violence case that ended up with a woman stabbed to death. I was shocked and I knew within myself I could not be a juror in such a case because I am not sure if I could be impartial as well as presumed this person did not kill this young lady until proven guilty beyond the reasonable doubt. Thank Goddess I was dismissed on Friday after two days of jury selection process that left me with a feeling of how the justice system works in this country.

While I was going through the process, I couldn´t help but think how hard it is to start with no preconceptions and assume the person is innocent. Somehow, if something happens in my life, I tend to look at the circumstantial evidence and determine what happened with my own assumptions and intuition. In doing so, I may fail to see the full picture because I don´t know 100% of the facts every time. If a person says one thing and then does another, does this person´s word is less than this person´s actions? If a person does not follow through with what they said they would do, are they still innocent or should they be considered guilty of charge? How many chances you give a person that shows you with actions that they are not walking their talk?

In the book The Four Agreements, one of the agreements is "don´t make assumptions" because assumptions are usually wrong. When we have the facts, it´s still hard not to make assumptions of what is going on and keep the mind open to believe the person is still innocent until proven guilty. I think the jury duty experience made me really think about how at times my judgement may be wrong and how I may begin with the assumption that the person is guilty until proven innocent. This situation may come from disappointments in the past and the inability to trust again due to previous negative experiences. 

Sometimes we need to learn to trust and know that we may not have all the facts to determine whether the person is guilty or innocent and in those cases, we have to give the person the reasonable benefit of the doubt but if they continuously do the same thing again and again, then it comes a time that we have to deem them guilty and move on but before that, it´s important to presume them innocent.

Many Blessings,

Lady Carolina Amor

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