Juror #2

Three weeks…

That’s how long the trial that I’d been sitting on as juror #2 on had lasted. After two and a half days of deliberating, we finally reached our unanimous verdict on the two charges that were presented to us.

From the very start of this case, the burden us 14 jurors had to collectively bare was immense. And to make matters worse, we weren’t allowed to tell anyone about it.

The honorable Judge James S. Jamo reminded us of this fact multiple times daily. We were instructed not to look anything up, not to read or watch any news coverage of the case, not to post about it online and that we weren’t even allowed to discuss it amongst ourselves until deliberations.

In the wee hours of July 3rd, 2018, at 3:15 a.m., a young coupled rushed through Sparrow Hospital’s emergency room doors with a cold, unresponsive, lifeless 4 month old in tow. After attempting every possible lifesaving measure the doctors could try, by 3:23a.m., this poor innocent baby boy was pronounced dead.

On the surface, the sudden death of this infant perplexed the medical staff. There were only small superficial injuries visible to the naked eye, and the parents were visibly distraught and confused about what could’ve possibly happened to their son. But after extensive interviews with doctors, medical examiners, police officers, and CPS, it became clear there was something suspicious about this situation.

It wasn’t until the autopsy was underway that a clearer picture of the horrors this poor defenseless little child must’ve endured. Subdural hemorrhaging, 14 fractured ribs, broken shoulder bones, cervical and lumbar spinal fractures, full thickness liver lacerations… the list goes on, but I think I’ll stop there.

We didn’t have many of the facts that would have made this an easy opened and closed case. It was all circumstantial evidence, which we learned is infact to be considered just as legitimate as physical evidence in the court of law. There was no clear-cut proof, breadcrumb trails or a-ha moments. The language of the laws and our instructions were confusing and problematic, making it hard to come to an agreement, at first.

But after days of heated argument and debate, we, the jury, found the father, Ricky Dale Jack, guilty of count 1, open felony murder as well as count 2, 1st degree child abuse. We won’t know his sentencing for a month, but we already know he’s looking at life. We learned after the fact that is piece of shit is already currently serving time in prison for criminal sexual assault of an 11yr old child that happened days after he murdered his son and has a history of domestic violence.

It’s so strange to learn how many facts and findings are NOT considered admissable in court. It’s eye-opening to find out what can and can’t be taken into consideration when reaching a verdict. It’s somewhat sickening to think it took us so long to unanimously agree and absolutely gut wrenching that there was the slightest possibility we could’ve given up and caused a mistrial.

What we had learned about the father after the trial was over only solidified and confirmed what my gut told me all along. That that mother fucker deserves to rot in jail and that we made the right decision. It’s not easy to sleep at night knowing I was going to be part of choosing someone’s fate, but I know damn well I made my best judgment.

I’ll wrap this up now by reiterating the extreme weight this case had been to suffer in silence. I’m glad to have this over and behind me. Rest in peace, young Azariah Jack. You never had a chance in this world, but I’m proud to say we brought you and your family justice.

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