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Unformatted text preview: rtainly wouldn't want to." "My question was, 'Can you?' " "I can follow the law, same as these other folks. If the law says that we should consider the death penalty, then I can follow the law." - --- Four hours later, Calia H. Ruffin became the last juror chosen—the first black to serve on a trial jury in Ford County. The drunks up in the Bar Room had been right. The defense wanted her because she was black. The State wanted her because they knew her so well. Plus, Ernie Gaddis had to save his jury strikes for less-appealing characters. Late that night I sat alone in my office working on a story about the opening day and jury selection. I heard a familiar noise downstairs. Harry Rex had a way of shoving open the front door and stomping on the wooden floors so that everybody at theTimes, regardless of the time of day, knew he had arrived. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html "Willie boy!" he yelled from below. "Up here," I yelled back. He rumbled up the stairs and fell into his favorite chair. "Whatta you think of the jury?" he said. He appeared to be completely sober. "I only know one of them," I said. "How many do you know?" "Seven." "You think they picked Miss Callie because of my stories?" "Yep," he said, brutally honest as always. "Everybody's been talkin' about her. Both sides felt like they knew her. It's 1970 and we've never had a black juror. She looked as good as any. Does that worry you?" "I guess it does." "Why? What's wrong with servin' on a jury? It's about time we had blacks doin' it. She and her husband have always been anxious to break down barriers. Ain't like it's dangerous. Well, normally it ain't dangerous." I hadn't talked to Miss Callie and I would not be able to do so until after the trial. Judge Loopus had ordered the jurors sequestered for the week. By then they were h...
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- Spring '10