The Aurora Theater Trial has finished its second week. So far it is only been testimony from the prosecution. I am interested because it happened in my backyard. More than that, the defendant – to use the legal term – was a student for a brief time in the lab I am in. So yes, I have been watching the case, as my colleagues have been on the stand testifying. It is gut-wrenching in a way that I had not anticipated. Until now, I have felt somewhat removed from what happened then. The day it happened my wife and I flew to Minnesota to be with family, and it wasn’t until I got back that I found out that the guy who did it had been in our lab. He was that unknown to me. The name enough was not enough to trigger recognition. Just one of many rotation students than spend a couple months in the lab. But now I am watching with interest. Wondering what so-and-so will say. Wondering what else will come out that we did not know. Wondering what the jury is thinking. Wondering whether they will convict him to death or decide he was insane…to be put away in a mental institution for life. Not knowing which is worse. And what do I think? Should anyone be put to death by the legal system? I have a lot of trouble with that. But if it was my wife, or my 6-year-old daughter who fell victim to this senseless crime, would I then think retaliation is the only justice? I haven’t always slept well this week, and I think I know why.
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