Have You Reached a Verdict?

Serving on a jury—reaching a decision that affects the life of a stranger—demands a person's best thinking and motives. Especially, perhaps, in criminal cases, the juror has a serious responsibility, since his job is to determine on the basis of the evidence presented whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charges.

Arriving at this decision on one's own and also agreeing on a verdict with fellow jurors is not always easy. The juror has to weigh the evidence and decide for himself whether or not the prosecutor's case establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jury duty brings to thought Christ Jesus' statement, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." John 7:24 The juror might ask himself: What kind of thinking really underlies my decision-making? Does it include prejudice, bias, limiting concepts about the source and nature of my judgment? Or—far out as it may sound—do I see my ability to judge emanating from God, the one Father, infinite Mind, divine Love? Could this yielding to the Father, whatever the situation, be the basis of the "righteous judgment" Jesus referred to?

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Mission: Control Juvenile Delinquency
June 5, 1971

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