I PIC "Best of 2023" Awarddon’t think of the people in this room as a jury of my peers, but as a jury of my friends. Life isn’t about the verdict, but the journey we took to get there. I’ve had such a great two weeks deliberating with you all and I sincerely can’t wait for the next triple homicide.

The judge has requested a unanimous decision, so let’s deliberate carefully. We cannot all vote guilty if there is a reasonable doubt that we may not all get to hang out ever again.

Wow, lots of hands up for guilty. OK, weird, we were all just saying how much fun this is. Juror 2, I remember you said your most admirable trait was your trustworthiness. Did our icebreaker games mean nothing to you?

Remember that we are sending a man to the electric chair and just as importantly the state does pay for our lunch while we’re here.

It looks like there are 11 votes for guilty, but I still have a voice here. I will not condemn this man to death until this jury promises to come see my band this weekend.

Look at the facts. The only shred of evidence they have are several grainy home tapes detailing the murders. The defendant isn’t even in said tapes. I don’t buy the prosecutor’s flimsy “he was holding the camera” argument.

The case left a lot of questions unanswered. A pizza deliveryman discovered the bodies. Do we know how good the pizza at Spumoni’s is? Is it a good place for large parties?

The defendant even expressed regret. I grant you that the specific regret was that he couldn’t do it all again, but the spirit is still there.

By my estimation, we have maybe four or five weeks of getting to know each other here. There are hard questions we must ask each other:

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you choose as a dinner guest?
  2. If you could be any vegetable, what would it be and why?

Asinine questions like “how could you do this to the families in the face of this evidence,” are actually not good icebreakers.

Think of your families. Could you go home to your partners tonight and tell them, “Honey, today I looked an innocent man in his eyes and told him I didn’t enjoy his company. I would rather see a man executed than be extroverted!”

The only people in this courtroom who are guilty are you jurors. Guilty of being closed off to new experiences. Guilty of lacking the joie de vivre that one needs to get through this charade we call life. Guilty of denying yourselves the most basic human need of community.

My rousing monologue has stirred juror 7! Yes, good man I agree: how could we know the defendant was actually living at the apartment, when he was apprehended at Ace’s Hardware buying hacksaws and tarps. Juror 6 is right, we can’t trust the eyewitnesses because they’re all biased against murderers!

Juror 3, run out and tell the judge that we need more time for deliberation—and ask him to order Spumoni’s pizza. We’ll need our strength.