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Subjectively Objective: Truth on Trial

Nathan PorterI’ve been intrigued by the Jodi Arias trial.

In this case, the 33-year-old Calif. native was charged with brutally murder ing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. The case has provoked widespread media attention and aroused vast public interest.

For me, however, it’s not so much the crime itself that intrigues me. While I’m saddened by the loss of life and sympathize with Alexander’s family, ultimately it is my own fascination with this trial that I find intriguing.

Whether it was Oscar Pistorius, Casey Anthony or O.J. Simpson, over the past two decades Americans have been given a plethora of trials to follow on the news, and thus a plethora of court decisions to criticize via the perceptively flawed judicial process.

Although I often find it rather easy to throw stones at the intellect of judges, I find it much more difficult to release those stones when they are aimed at jury members.

I know there are many times the final instrument of justice in the courtroom and the decisions they come to directly affect the quality of life of victims and alleged criminals.

Still, when I look at my peers elevated to the position of juror, burdened with the responsibility of discerning truth, I not only sympathize with them, I feel that I can relate.

Maybe one of the reasons these trials get so much attention is because we all can relate to jury members. In a way, jurors model our daily attempt to put events, situations and experiences into their proper context and arrive at a truthful verdict.

Rarely does a moment go by that we’re not forced to make a judgment call.

Whether it be judging the sincerity of an apology, evaluating the merit of a sermon, revising the structure of a research paper or assessing the constitutionality of a proposed law, we constantly operate based on our various claims to truth.

Like jurors, however, we quickly find that most, if not all, of our judgment calls are made on limited information.

I certainly believe in absolute Truth.

I also realize that neither I, nor anyone I know, have ever been able to continually walk in it. This might be one of the most problematic realizations in all of human history.

It’s been repeatedly proven that, despite all our attempts, humans have been utterly incapable of telling the whole truth. So I ask this: if truth sets us free, does partial truth leave us partially chained?

Verdicts based on partial truth lead to injustice in the courtroom and in life. It’s difficult to find true justice when the truth can seem dark and murky.

Still though, there is hope. As I sit in the jury box of life, I humbly remind myself that I know in part and see only as if through a murky glass, dimly.

I trust that in due time, the true judge will bring all the discrepancies to light.

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