The People at the Elevator

I got home from Kentucky eight days ago, but pieces of the experience flicker through my quiet moments, and I expect they always will.

On Wednesday night, after the jury recommended double life without parole and was dismissed, Mrs. M, the Spawn, and I gathered our things — jackets, bags, and pictures of Mom and Dad — and thanked the prosecution team and police before we headed to the doors. Michael was hustled out a side door, just beyond the witness stand. I was told later that his daughter was brought to him before he was taken back to the jail, and he gave her a hug.

We stepped out the door to the hallway, where we saw a knot of reporters. “Dr. Moore,” one asked, “would you like to say anything about the verdict?”

“No, thank you,” I said, and we headed down the hall, where another group stood. There were six or seven of them, and it took me an instant before I recognized them as some of the jurors.

“Thank you,” I said. “You did the right thing.” And I think they did — as I’ve told other folks, I think this was the least unsatisfactory outcome that was available. I don’t know if Michael deserved the mercy he received, but I think his daughter probably does.

“We just wanted to tell you how sorry we were, Smitty,” one said. I nodded and smiled — I think I may have said I was sorry they had to go through the whole business, but I don’t remember for sure.  I know I thanked them again, and told them I was satisfied and grateful, and shook hands with those who offered. Then the elevator arrived, and my wife and daughter and I went downstairs, back to the parking lot, from which we went to the hotel, from which we returned to Mondoville the next day.

If I were to encounter the jurors tomorrow on the streets of Mondoville, I don’t know if I’d recognize all of them, but there are some I know I would. But I’m connected to them all now, and I find myself thinking of them and wishing them well, in my quiet, unguarded moments.

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About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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2 Responses to The People at the Elevator

  1. Kasey Stuart says:

    It’s amazing how a man can go through all of this and still have ample room in his heart to have a hug, a box of tissues, and an open heart for a student in need. I hope I grow up to be so wonderful. You really are a hero of mine. You have a great intellect, the smartest man I’ve ever known, but that has nothing on the size of your heart and compassion.

    • profmondo says:

      Shucks, ma’am. Seriously, my folks set a heck of an example, and what I’ve done over the past four years, and particularly the last month or so, has been an attempt to do as they taught me and to do right by my mom and dad.

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