Sunday, November 21, 2010

jury duty

several weeks ago i received my first jury summons in the mail. dallas county was requesting that i take the day off work to wait around hours upon hours at frank crowley court house for the possibility that i might make it on a real life jury panel. welp, turns out i am good juror material because i was one of the 12 out of the 65 that was selected to be on the jury. did i mention it was for a murder trial?? yes, it was for a murder trial.

so there i was....and once the judge read the indictment, i had to ask myself, can i do this? can i be fair and impartial based on the evidence presented? what a responsibility and weighty role to take on. what if the defendant isn't guilty and we give him 40 years or even worse- life? what if he is truly guilty, but there isn't enough evidence to prove it?? what about justice then? these were all questions i was asking myself while sitting in that terribly hard wooden bench in the 1st criminal district room. but deep down, i did feel that i could do this task through God's wisdom and i felt that if i was selected, it was simply God's sovereignty that i be put on that panel. soo are you wondering what happened??

so last monday, after much prayer, i returned to frank crowley to report to the jury room to begin the trial. of course, i hit traffic and was the last juror there, but it didn't matter...everyone was waiting for the trial to begin and it was a busy day in the court room. about 45 minutes later the judge came in and told us that the defendant and the state had come to an agreement and that the defendant plead out. trial and no jury needed. so he goes on to tell us that he got 31 years in prison for this brutal stabbing. the judge explained that this often happens once the jury is selected because it puts the pressure on the defendant and his attorney and forces them to come to an agreement that may be a better punishment than what a jury would give. so i guess they felt that 31 years in prison was a fair and just punishment for the crime. it's possible we could have given him more...but i guess we'll never know. do you think 31 years in prison is a fair punishment? how do you determine how many years is appropriate for a murder?? ...(you can read the details of the crime at the link's a really sad story).

so that was my jury duty experience. i will say that i learned a lot about how the justice system works. and it really hit me that average joe people serve as jurors, then given the evidence and the rule of law....they decide the fate and punishment of others (you could argue that the individual committing the crime decided their fate, but you get what i'm saying...). it's really a crazy idea, but it also makes sense. it made me thankful to be a part of a justice system where the people actually have a say. i know there are lots of flaws to it, but i do think having a jury is a legitimate set up and i am glad i was able to serve in the way that i did. plus, i made a whopping $46 for my day and a half served....extra spending money for clothes thanks to Dallas county. anyways, thanks for reading.... and here is the article below if you want to read it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Da Bears

So i think I need to let Jas take over this blog...he's been a pretty successful blogger on every entry he has written. i love that man.

in other news....we are getting ready to leave for Waco to go to the A&M v. Baylor football game! this morning I was taking a shower and mentally preparing for the game (I know, I sound like a freak)'s an important one. I hope we win!!!!!

SIC EM BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Long Lost Love

Go back 15 years or so with kids in the Sudan family whenever your birthday came around, not only did you get shotgun in the car all day but you got to pick any restaurant of your choice for lunch and dinner. Wendy's for lunch, Panchos Mexican Buffet for dinner. Those were my choices.

The other day I actually had cash in my wallet (usually we use the card) and I told Alex that I wanted to treat myself with a special lunch after I had finished working for the day (I do home inspections for vacant homes in the DFW area). I had been talking about it for awhile and had not gone since I was a kid, so around 2:00 p.m today I pulled into the Panchos Mexican Buffet parking lot in Euless, TX got out of my car and walked up to the buffet line, ordered enchiladas, flautas, and tacos, sat down at the table in front of the flag (mexican flag that you raise when you need service) and had a delicious lunch. After living in Dallas, I have become a Tex-Mex snob with the likes of Chuy's and Glorias, and to tell you the truth if felt great going back to my roots and eating at Panchos. And I am serious when I say, it really was a great meal.

So, I issue the challenge.....whenever you see a Panchos on the side of the road, stop in and raise the flag.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Brooke Fraser

So, it's official...i love Brooke Fraser. I've always known this, but she came out with a new album on Oct 12th and can i just stay that it is the best, most genius album. every song is so good...the lyrics are deep and creative. and the sounds are whimsical. can you tell i liker her music? :) i love jamming to her songs in the car, in my office, getting ready in the morning. i love the album, too, because there are slow thoughtful songs and really fun upbeat ones...anyways, i wanted to share that if you don't have her album, you should go out (or get on i-tunes) and buy it. you won't regret it. you should buy it and support her...and not burn it. it's that good. worth every pretty penny. so enjoy the music video! also, i will be seeing her in person at the house of blues in dallas on november 12th...i'll keep you posted on how great the show is!!