mad in pursuit journal


site map

chronological index

about me


Tuesday, 1.10.06: Back to Grand Jury

I am back in the grand jury cocoon. I'd like to impress everyone with what a difficult job it is... but I'd be lying. It's not like we really have to interact with anyone the way a social worker or parole officer might. We just sit there -- bearing witness.

I'm not saying the work isn't important. "Bearing witness" -- that phrase comes to mind, but what does it mean, really? I think bearing witness is at the heart of all our memorials and monuments and storytelling. Something happened and we recognize it and put a shape to it. We name it: the Holocaust, 9/11, the Great Depression.

A crime happened -- angry, stupid, irrational, out of control. The justice system steps in and wraps the act in language and procedures. Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. When it feels all organized, the Assistant District Attorney brings it into us and presents it... step by step by step.

We listen. We follow the facts. We compare it to the law we've been read. If it all hangs together -- if it's a story worth telling -- we give it a thumbs up and it goes to trial.

We don't bring anyone to justice, not at the grand jury. We only decide if some little package of naughtiness wrapped in legalese is worth the hassle of a trial. We bear witness.

Grand Jury, continued>>>


 Photo: Winter 2004, Penfield NY

Visit our STORE.



Thumbs Up if you liked this entry