Jason Lawrence Bell
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06-02-19              AUDIO AVAILABLE SOON

‘Can we take a breath before we proceed. Everything is happening so quickly, we need to calmly analyze our options and hopefully make the correct decision’, said the jury foreman to the other jurors. They are all involved in a trial that has caught national attention and they are all feeling the weight of coming up with a just verdict. They have been sequestered for 2 months and many are showing sign of exhaustion. But they are in the final phase and know they need to complete their task.

The case involves a famous television pundit, John Sanity, and his power to insight followers to do illegal acts. Acts that led to the death of a mother of three children, Donna Boatright. John Sanity has a televised political opinion show that has a large following. He is notorious for presenting conspiracy theories and right-wing favored spin stories. On one show John’s “investigative reporter” revealed a secret Democratic spy ring that conceal themselves as mothers with children. They claim that the mothers follow Trump supports and when the supporter is off guard, the mother sprays baby formula on their skin. But it’s not baby formula, it is a special toxin that turns the supporter gay. The “investigative reporter’ claims to have evidence that proves absolutely that 1000’s have been infected. Sanity claims to have seen the evidence and believes that all conservatives are at risk.

The next day at a supermarket in Ohio a man with a MEGA hat on, killed a mother shopping with her toddler. The man claimed the mother was following him and she was about to spray baby formula on him. He had no choice but to shoot her point blank with a gun. The killer testified at his trial that it was Sanity’s show that informed him of the dangerous mothers. The family of the dead mother have sued Sanity and his network for damages.

So now the jury must examine the evidence. Sanity argued it was Free Speech and he had no responsibilities. But he admitted the story was incorrect and the killer may have misinterpreted the conclusion. And that it was not his job to ensure his listeners don’t make false conclusions. The family argued that it was Sanity that put all mothers in the cross hairs of unstable paranoid conservatives. Sanity had already lost most of his sponsors and the network placed his show on temporary hold. If he loses this suit, his career is probably over.

The jury had all the evidence spread out on the conference table and after a short break returned to the task. The jurors were diverse in their political believes. A few were obviously conservatives and progressives and a couple claimed to be independents. So, the arguments usually fell along political lines. But one jury was not as politically committed. An elderly woman named, Vivian, who sat quietly thru the trial and made few comments during deliberations. No one could quite get a handle on Vivian. Everyone had put out their opinions but Vivian hesitated. So, the Forman asked Vivian directly for her views. How was she leaning? Vivian was a shy person, who spoke softly but deliberately.

Vivian stood up and began, ‘I have lived my life following the Ten Commandments and it has always served me well with its direction. The commandment ‘thou shall not bear false witness’ seems especially pertinent in this trial. Truth is the foundation of gods works and gods will. I take truth very seriously. So, what are the truths we know in this case.

First, Donna Boatright was an innocent mother who should not have been killed. Second, the killer was an unstable man with paranoid tendencies. Third, the unstable paranoid killer claimed to act after seeing a Sanity show. Fourth, the Sanity show is a very popular highly watched showed. Fifth, Sanity presented the story on his show. Sixth, Sanity warned the viewing conservatives to be careful of progressive mothers. To me Sanity could be victim of a bad story brought to him by gullible people. He would be victim, if had presented the story neutrally.  But he didn’t. He strongly represented the story as real. So, truth Seven, Sanity claimed the woman bringing the story was an investigative reporter. Eight, the woman had never been a reporter much less investigative. She was in truth an attention seeking conspiracy theorist who worked from her bed room computer and could not show any evidence that story was true or where she got it. And nine, Sanity promoted her story by giving her unearned credibility and supported the story by warning the public. Also, he claimed to have seen the evidence that obviously didn’t exist. So, my conclusion believes that truth would have saved this poor mother’s life. Truth is god’s foundation and should be the foundation of our laws. I vote for the family. That is all I have to say.’ The room had gone silent with contemplation. The next day the judge announced the jury’s decision in favor of the family. Peace