OLD WEST JUSTICE
A man in the Old
West was being tried for stealing a horse. You
need to remember that stealing a horse in the Old
West was a very grave and serious offense. A
person could be hanged if found guilty of such a
so happened that a man whose horse had been
stolen had always made it a point to get the best
of any person with whom he had any dealings. He
had never tried to do anything good for anyone
other than himself. Consequently, the man whose
horse had been stolen didn't have a single friend
in the entire town. The case was tried and
presented to the jury.
evidence against the accused man was pretty
strong. After about thirty minutes of
deliberation, the jury returned to the court
chambers. "Gentlemen of the jury, have you
reached a verdict?" the judge asked. The
chairman of the jury stood up. "Yes we have,
your honor," he replied. "What is your
verdict?" inquired the judge. There were a
few moments of silence and then the chairman
spoke. "We find the defendant not guilty if
he will return the horse."
the judge had silenced the laughter in the
courtroom, he admonished the jury. "I cannot
accept that verdict. You will have to retire
until you reach another verdict," said the
judge. The jury went back into their room to
deliberate toward another verdict. No member of
the jury had any particular liking for the man
whose horse had been stolen. At one time or
another, he had gotten the best of each of them.
About an hour passed before the jury could reach
another verdict. They re-entered the courtroom.
They took their place in the jury box and the
courtroom grew silent.
of the jury," began the judge, "have
you reached a verdict?" The chairman of the
jury stood up. "Yes we have, your honor,"
he replied. "What is your verdict?"
asked the judge.
courtroom was totally silent. You could have
heard a pin drop. Everyone eagerly awaited the
verdict. The chairman read the decision reached
by the twelve good men, tried and true. "We
find the defendant not
guilty, and he can keep
- AUTHOR UNKNOWN -
GOD'S LITTLE ACRE
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