For this weeks Flash! Friday we had to incorporate man vs self (not gender specific!) into a story about the following prompt:
First Woman Jury, Los Angeles, Nov 1911. PD photo by Library of Congress.
It started so well. I was a part of history. The men said that women weren’t well suited to jury duty, that we’d let our emotions dictate our decision. We scoffed of course, it was the same tired arguments from the same tired men. They were fighting for a past that had long since left the kitchen.
I was determined to do well, to make a sound judgement based on reasons and logic, to see justice done. We’d all seen the newspapers before they hid us from the world. Our case was high profile, the crimes were ghastly, vicious, violent. I subconsciously formed an image of the criminal in my mind, a small, nasty, spiteful man, desperate to prove how powerful he was.
They brought the defendant out to face us. He was not the man I’d imagined. He was tall, handsome, impeccably dressed. His aqua blue eyes connected with mine and I knew in that moment that he wasn’t guilty.
I listened to testimony after testimony, saw evidence that left no doubt. I couldn’t make it fit with the man I saw before me. Eventually I had to choose, but there were no right options, only wrong ones. I quietly muttered my verdict and felt the shame of betrayal.