Yesterday I witnessed a murder trial.
Shaina Armstrong had added a friend on facebook Candace Jackson, her ex lover, did not approve.
Candace's next move: run her over with her car, as stated by the prosecution.
Instead of killing her ex lover, though, she hit her mother instead, Rosa Lee Armstrong, and killed her.
The defense stated that the two women had run in front of the car and Candace merely lost control of it.
I watched the lawyers move methodically through the case: the defense attacking the prosecutions evidence and witnesses, twisting and tearing at their case, having a stronger attorney. The prosecution doing the same but with having more evidence and witnesses to back them up.
The bored clerks typing away at their desks, the jurors listening intently, the judge dozing off every now and then during the case, the bailiffs playing on their phone as we awaited the verdict.
And lastly I looked around the room at the families involved: the Armstrong family choking up on the stand, the Jackson family sitting quietly in the back, Candace's mother crying silent tears as she awaited the verdict of her 24-year-old daughter.
The lawyers joked to each other wanting to get out of there, wanting it to hurry and end so they could grab some dinner.
What I found most interesting was the way TV seems to play out in real life. It was like I was watching an episode of Law & Order, the white vs the black family// the lesbian lover scorned// can the prosecution plead intent? Episode 21 Season 10
The lawyers, the family, the judge, hell even the fucking journalists all fit the stereotype. I sat next to the man that had lost his wife of 37 years and waited for that tear to roll down his face, that one moment I needed to get for tomorrows front page. I watched the murderer as she sheepishly grinned back at her family from the defense table. I clicked.
When did we all start fitting these stereotypes? The mean lawyer that doesn't care about the law or the people involved but really just wants to win another case, the greedy journalist just looking for the shot to make the paper more readable, the bored judge that cares more about what he will be having for dinner than what happens to this woman who will probably end up in jail for a good portion of her life.
When did we all start playing out bad day time TV reruns?
But... I digress.
In the movies or TV they catch the bad guy// they put the person who deserves it in jail// they make the wrong right// but how can anyone ever tell a mother of a 24-year-old that it is right to put her daughter away for life?
TV leaves out the rest of the characters lives, it shows the highlights, not the 3 hours of deliberation time, not the people involved dozing off, not the mundane and not so flashy parts of court and especially not the lawyers joking in the courtroom about the time they had to call in for Chik Fil A.
Its still eerie though... and I could have sworn I heard the ever so faint opening credits as the jury shuffled back into the courtroom.