Ladies And Gentlemen Of The Jury, Marry MeCommentary • people • Opinion • legal • courts • ISSUE 43•38 • Sep 19, 2007 By Anthony Forster, Public Defender Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client, Mr. Hayes, has been accused of a most heinous crime. An unspeakable crime. Over the past few weeks, the prosecution has bombarded you with diagrams and photographs and eyewitness testimony in hopes of convincing you that my client killed a man in cold blood. They want you to sentence Mr. Hayes, a devoted father and businessman, to life without the possibility of parole. But before you go back into that jury room and send an innocent man off to die in prison, there is just one question I must ask each and every one of you.Will you marry me?Dammit, jury, I love you. I've loved you from the moment you were summoned to the courthouse, interviewed separately, and deemed to have no perceived bias or conflict of interest that would prevent you from ruling on this case. You're the only seven men and five women I've ever loved, and I want to prove it to all of you every day until the various days we die. These few weeks have been the happiest of my life. Remember that time juror number No. 4 requested a short recess to use the bathroom? Or when No. 9 said she was feeling nauseous? God, we were so young then. But I feel even closer to you now—how could I not after all the ballistics evidence we've been through together? You're the most loving, attentive, racially and demographically diverse group of peers I've ever known, and it's time I made decent men and/or women out of you.Let the record show that I am getting down on one knee, begging you to be mine.I know we've had our ups and downs, like when I had two of you replaced last week, but what really matters is all that we've shared—the objections, the motions to dismiss, the cross-examinations—and I beseech you to cling to and cherish these memories as if my client's life depended on it. Hell, it doesn't even matter that Juror No. 7 is gay! It only makes me love the other 11 of you more.Won't you please accept my hand in marriage by discussing it thoroughly and thoughtfully among yourselves and, once you've reached a unanimous conclusion, informing the Madam Forewoman that you'll never leave me?Answer me quickly, my sweets, because in a few moments the district attorney is going to give his closing arguments. He's going to feed you a lot of legal mumbo jumbo, smoke and mirrors about gunpowder residue and security-camera footage to try to distract you from what's really on trial here: our love. Sure, the DA has computer-enhanced photographs and forensics evidence and money, but does he feel for you like I do? Or is he just using you to win his case before he moves on to the next jury?All I know is, when I look into your 23 eyes, I see beauty I've never known in all my years of public service. I swear, it's all I can do not to jump over this three-foot partition and take you right here in the courtroom.I know this is all moving so fast, and maybe you're scared about what might happen if you say yes instead of delivering a verdict on this federal murder trial. I'm scared, too! But don't you see? That's what makes it so right!Everyone's telling you the decision is black and white. Guilty or innocent. But I put it to you that there is a third option you must consider: Run away with me. We'll carpool out of here and spend the rest of our days on some beach as the happiest 13 people the world has ever known. Don't let the fulfillment of your civic duty stand between you and true love.Just because my client, Mr. Hayes, is a lost cause, doesn't mean we have to be. All I'm asking is that you consider all the evidence, look into your hearts, and return a verdict of "I do."I rest my case.