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Ten Thousand Hours

One man's lengthy quest to become a great blogger

The executioner with the public face

My dad was the jury foreman in the Jodi Arias murder trial.

I am betting that a good portion of you don’t know or care but there is sure a sizable piece of America and beyond that knows now who my dad is—which is to say they know his name and they know he had a chance to help execute a criminal. And they know that on his watch, that criminal was not sentenced to die.

That’s where it ends, of course. The knowledge of my dad. That’s all that all but a statistically negligible percentage of the universe knows about my dad. They don’t know that my dad loved his kids or loved baseball or loves cars or loves golf or loves his grandkids or any of a million things. They don’t know that above all his weaknesses, my dad is an honorable man.

And that’s okay. No one needs to know my dad. I think before this all happened, my dad would have liked to be famous. I’m not speaking for him but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case anymore.

Today I read hate mail my dad had gotten. Some person had sent him a threatening message complete with his email address, full name, and phone number (which at the very least means that this guy should retake Hate Mail 101). I also read some comments on an article online about my dad. Surreal. They say my dad was fooled by the defendant, that he was taken with her, that he hated the prosecutor. But what was most interesting to me is how many people say my dad is a media whore.

Let me explain to you how the media works. I am a media whore. I want nothing more than an open mic, a bully pulpit, a captive audience. But no one cares what I have to say, and therefore the media doesn’t care.

But the world (maybe even you, if you are honest) wants to hear about Jodi Arias. Everything, every lurid detail about her. So when my dad showed up at his own home after the mistrial was declared, the major media were there waiting for him. They spent the night in his home. He chose to speak, but if you all didn’t care, no one would have even had a clue who my dad is. It’s poor form to consume media and at the same time complain about its availability.

One last thing, and then I’ll be done, because thinking about how my dad is suffering makes my heart hurt. A jury gets impaneled once or twice in a generation to oversee a trial like this. That means there are one or maybe two people per generation that know what my dad has just gone through. I would love to hear what their thoughts are. I’m sure my dad would like to decompress with them over cocktails. What that group alone would know, though, is that when you are a juror, you are bound by law to be impartial. What you see and what you are *mandated* to consider and not consider is different from what Nancy Grace’s viewership gets to see. They are allowed to foam at the mouth for five months with bloodlust, knowing from day one that the defendant is guilty as sin. But a juror is told to leave emotion and sensationalism at the door so that the defendant can have a fair trial.

You might say, “But Jodi Arias is a psychopath. She doesn’t deserve anything but the hot end of a gun.” You’re allowed to think that. But I hope for your sake that if you’re ever put on trial for something, you have jurors like my dad to hear you out.

I looked at my four year old son today as he was about to fall asleep. He gave me a dreamy, half conscious smile. Genuine, because four year olds always are. I told him I loved him. He said back to me, “I love you, dad.”

At that moment I realized that if I make it to the end of my life and my son can be proud of me, then I will die happy to my very bones.

So here’s my open letter to my dad:

Dad: I love you. And I am proud today, and I am proudest today, that you are my dad.

  1. sabbaticalsuz reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    BEFUDDLED- tr.v. be·fud·dled, be·fud·dling, be·fud·dles 1. To confuse; perplex. Example: When 12 reasonable people...
  2. sarah-beth-smiles reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    I would be proud if this was my dad! Shame on people for sending hate mail to him! I am so glad that their are men out...
  3. sunny815 reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    A message from Tanisha, Travis’ sister: Today it has been 5 years since my sweet brother was taken out of this life and...
  4. thegovernorsbunny reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    Your dad and all those jurors are brave people. They did what most of us couldn’t. They were honest and knew they...
  5. todaystrial reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    Samirsdad: I know in my heart that your son will one day be as proud of you as you are of your dad! Please tell Dad that...
  6. pitchforksup reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    I hope you don’t mind, but I incorporated some of your words into the end of my article as a tribute to your dad and I...
  7. pinkpassion1908 reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    I think what many are upset about is your dad believing their was verbal abuse. Of course he and the jury did not know...
  8. justicerebel reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    Cry Me A River Puleeeeez: This is my response to Mr. Jury Foreman and his Son~~~~~~I don’t think anyone should make...
  9. samirsdad reblogged this from sabbaticalsuz and added:
    Do you know what “liberating" means? Just clarifying, because my dad signed the jury’s verdict of murder one. I don’t...
  10. privatenjr reblogged this from iamaholiday and added:
    This man is a total disgrace! not only did he let the Alexander family down but his own peer’s amongst the jurors. Thank...
  11. iamaholiday reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    Being a juror, I can say with my whole heart that when your father decided to jump the gun (interview before the end of...
  12. snakeshoe-shoe reblogged this from jojoverde and added:
    are you mentally there?you’re actually going to sit there and tell someone pokerfaced that their loved one DESERVES to...
  13. jojoverde reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    Maybe if your dad hadn’t called a 30 something year old woman “A girl” and been altogether much too concerned about Juan...
  14. mysticreef reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    My dad was the jury foreman in the Jodi Arias murder trial. I am betting that a good portion of you don’t know or care...
  15. oldmom77 reblogged this from samirsdad
  16. faithpaige reblogged this from samirsdad
  17. faithpaige said: passionate, authentic, selfless, endearing, introspective, raw i thought i had sent a reply to this beautiful heartfelt essay but instead i unknowingly blogged the answer on tumbler and then opened an account. forgive me please, as i know you will.
  18. msamri reblogged this from samirsdad
  19. snovotny71 reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    I have total respect for your fathers decision. Its sad that some treat him as a criminal when he has only done civic...
  20. thatbitchregan reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    I just want to say that I have the utmost respect for your father. He did the right thing. I’d be very proud of him as...
  21. bcomplex84 reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    So disgusting that this guys dad is being harassed! He did his job. The jury was fair! The people following this case...
  22. mariacristinasantana reblogged this from samirsdad and added:
    I am a supporter of the death penalty for Jodi Arias. I appreciate your heartache at having your father defamed publicly...
  23. queeniez71 reblogged this from samirsdad
  24. hesterjesh reblogged this from samirsdad