(FOX 2) - Ever wonder what people on trial are thinking?
They're charged with a crime that will land them in prison. If they're convicted and sentenced, that label will hang over them for the rest of their life, forever altering their legacy. Maybe it's corruption, maybe it's theft.
Whatever the case, the days or hours they spend on the bench may be the last few hours they have of freedom as twelve individuals are tasked with decided just what sort of liberties does the potential offender deserve, and which should be taken away.
For reporters on the cops and courts beat, a variation of this story plays out during every article they write. And while on the job, you can count journalists among the people asking the same question: What are those people thinking?
"It's kind of startling, even though you know they deserve it and there are consequences, it's still on some human level, it's a startling thing to witness," said Shawn Windsor.
Windsor is a Detroit Free Press reporter, and the lucky guest on M.L. Elrick's newest episode of Soul of Detroit.
"That's the moment where you almost are staggered in some cases by the grace of people who have just been found guilty of being horrible people," said Elrick.
"No you're absolutely right. That's what I remember about the first few times I witnessed that," Windsor said. "You know they need to pay the consequences. You understand that part of it and the bargain we have in society but at the same time, just watching somebody's life change that radically in the moment."
Are they actively considering the meal they're eating during lunch is possibly the last one they get to decide? How about the familiar cushions of their bed? The friendly normality of their home? It's all in the balance of testimony that might appear dry to anyone not behind wooden benches.
And on a lighter note, Elrick and Windsor also talked the quirky notes found around Detroit, trending tweets and everything else.