It would be easy to say that I have my older brother to thank for not having to sit on a jury this summer. The fact that I sat there for four days waiting to explain my connection to law enforcement to the defense and prosecution means that I did my civic duty. When it came time to sit down in front of a judge and describe my feelings, as I was asked, I told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I talked about my relationship with my older brother, who has been in the peace officer business since I was graduating high school. I've talked with him about the things that he wanted to, and he gave me insight to some things that I hadn't considered. When the judge asked me if this relationship, and whether it might color or shade my ability to be a fair and unbiased juror, I told the truth: "Yes."
I told the judge that my older brother was a hero of mine, and if that kept me from sitting on a jury for a murder case where a number of law enforcement officers would be called as witnesses, I said I was okay living with that bias. Of course, one of the things that my older brother has taught me over the years is that there are bad cops, just like there are bad teachers, bad stock brokers, and bad sport fisherman. I know that I need to look at every situation through a questioning lens. If that lens has a blue tint to it, that's a burden which I am comfortable accepting. The bottom line is that my older brother has been doing his duty for his adult life so that I could do mine. This is the kind of guy he is. He does the tough jobs, and then he goes back and does it again. I want to believe I do the same thing, or try. It's his birthday today, and I want him to know that he's my hero. And that's the truth.