When You Just Kinda Decide that Someone is Guilty

It’s how we choose some of the most important things

The other day I heard someone talking about a time when he was on a jury. He said, “It was one of those cases where we all knew he was guilty but just couldn’t find the evidence.”

This frightened me because everyone else seemed to nod as though they know the situation… but I’m wondering how is that even possible? If you don’t have evidence, isn’t that just a modern witch hunt? During the real witch hunts, the persecutors felt every bit as strongly that they were right.

Do people just look at someone and see their cold-hearted expression and simply decide that they’re guilty?

I can think of a lot of situations growing up where a teacher or babysitter would think I did something and decide I was guilty based on my facial expressions or inability to defend myself verbally; and they were wrong every time.

The problem is that there are certain people that just look guilty, who have that guilty persona about them… quite frequently they are guilty of something, but not of what you think they are. I think I may have been one of those people growing up. I always felt as though I was doing something wrong, but I didn’t know what. I wanted to be a good person; I wanted to follow the rules, but every once in a while I would get in trouble for something I didn’t understand, or something I flat out didn’t do, and it made me bitter, angry and scared, which showed up in my face and body language, confirming for everyone that I was guilty.

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