The members of the jury were somber but relaxed while we waited for the bailiff to lead us back to the courtroom. We chatted about things not related to the case. Nobody speculated about what was to come, except for one person who wondered if we would have to say anything. I assured her, based on my past experience, that the defense attorney would ask the judge to poll the jury.
The judge, the lawyers, the defendant, and the clerk were all in place when we filed back into the courtroom. I can tell you that I was focused more on getting to my seat than I was on the expressions on the faces of the people waiting to hear what we'd decided. I did glance at the two lawyers and the defendant, but their faces were blank. As was mine, I think.
We took our seats in the jury box and the foreman handed the verdict forms to the bailiff, who passed them on to the clerk. The judge asked that the verdicts be read. I was definitely looking at the defendant when the word "Guilty" was read, and I don't think it had fully registered yet, because he still showed no reaction.
When the judge asked if either lawyer wanted the jury polled, it was only the defense attorney who said he did, as we expected. One by one, the clerk asked us, "Is this your verdict?" And each of us had to answer out loud, for the record, "Yes." Finally, after the twelfth "yes," there was a reaction from Spike, who shook his head and mouthed a single word: "Wow."
The judge then thanked us for our service and told us our official time as jurors had come to an end. Before he dismissed us, he said that if any of us were willing, we could wait outside the courtroom for the lawyers, who often like to speak to jurors after a trial. Then we were excused and filed out into the hallway. Some people raced for the stairs and elevators. Some of us milled around for a few extra minutes.
One of the other jurors asked me if I was staying to talk to the lawyers. At that exact moment, I had nothing I wanted to say. It was after five o'clock, and I was ready to go home. I didn't want to have to defend my decision to Spike's lawyer anyway. And I wasn't sure what to say to the prosecutor. So I took off, but a couple of people did stay behind.
Later, when I had time to gather my thoughts, I realized it would have been a good opportunity to point out to the prosecutor some of the weaknesses we perceived in his presentation. It would have been my only chance to ask him why he thought Satchel's testimony would help his case, the one question that was on everyone's mind. But these thoughts came to me after I finally got some distance from the case. In the immediate afterglow, I just wanted it to be over.