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3: 0 6 P. M.

I looked around the room. This time, nine people had their hands in the air. Maureen, Vy, and I were the only ones who hadn't voted for execution.

"What is it that's keeping you from making this decision?" Ted asked.

"His age," Vy said. "My son's twenty-four," she said. "And all I can think is that he doesn't always make the best decisions. He's not done growing up yet."

Jack turned toward me. "You're the same age as Bourne. What are you doing with your life?"

I felt my face flame. "I, um, probably I'll go to graduate school. I'm not really sure."

"You haven't killed anyone, have you?"

Jack got to his feet. "Let's take a bathroom break," he suggested, and we all jumped at the chance to separate. I tossed the dry-erase marker on the table and walked to the window. Outside, there were courthouse employees eating their lunch on benches. There were clouds caught in the twisted fingers of the trees. And there were television vans with satellites on their roofs, waiting to hear what we'd say.

Jim sat down beside me, reading the Bible that seemed to be an extra appendage. "You religious?"

"I went to parochial school a long time ago." I faced him. "Isn't there something in there about turning the other cheek?"

Jim pursed his lips and read aloud. "If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. When one apple's gone bad, you don't let it ruin the whole bunch." He passed the Bible to me. "See for yourself."

I looked at the quote, and then closed the book. I didn't know nearly as much as Jim did about religion, but it seemed to me that no matter what Jesus said in that passage, he might have taken it back after being sentenced to death himself. In fact, it seemed to me that if

Jesus were here in this jury room, he'd be having just as hard a time doing what needed to be done as I was.


1: 1 2 P. M. | Change of heart | 4: 0 2 P. M.