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Monday, August 25, 2008
12:07 PM

Jury Duty


That video is dedicated to everyone responsible for me having to finally go to jury duty on Friday. Once a friend told me that her sister opted not to register to vote because she said she didn’t want to go to jury duty. When she told me that, I thought that was the most trifling rationale to use. I still think it’s trifling, but the second I walked into that big boring room I envied the life of an illegal immigrant.

Sitting in a room for three hours waiting for a juror instructional video in Vietnamese is not the way to spend a day. I spent most of that time saying silent prayers that I will get out of this over-air conditioned room and back home by noon. No such luck. They needed everyone that day. This is what I get for dodging a summons since January. What? Don’t judge me.

On the way to the courtroom the bailiff instructed us to be “enthusiastic” once the judge addresses us. He told us she liked cheering. My first reaction was, “The hell? What is she a cheerleader for Team Justice?” And once we got in the courtroom, she definitely told us she needed more enthusiasm. I’m sure with her salary she can afford to be cheerful. Six dollars for a day’s worth of boring doesn’t make me smile, though.

Once I was selected for a jury pool, I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how to not be selected for this jury. I soon learned so was everyone else. The case I was in the jury pool for centered on two men who allegedly kicked, punched, and stabbed someone (or people, I’ve started to try and block this day out so details are becoming sketchy) during a robbery. For a minute, because they were both young, I thought they were going to try and pick me.

Thankfully, when the judge asked if anyone would object to giving them probation should they be convicted, I saw my way out. I rose my hand to say considering the crime and my own personal experiences, I couldn’t serve in a trial where probation was an option.

Finally, getting jacked at gunpoint has provided a positive!

Soon everyone else followed with their own excuses as to why their names should be crossed off the list and be left the hell alone. My favorite jury dodger was the girl who objected to everything the judge, the DA, and the defense attorneys said. I think her name was Aura, or something made up like that.

She said based on what happened to her auntie she hates cops, the justice system, and vowed that she would never convict anyone. Once one of the defense attorneys got to her, she added that when it comes to justice, she leaves everything to God. Genius. I bet she made a list of things to say before she came.

The unprepared people who can’t think on their feet weren’t as lucky. Most of them, with their dumb ass questions and comments and kept prolonging the process. I didn’t end up leaving until after 2. I arrived at 8:00 a.m.

1 in 4 people in my city are foreign born. You couldn’t tell by the jury pool I was in. Some jury of your peers. At the end they asked if any of us wanted to donate all or a portion of our huge $6.00 check to charity. I think I and someone else were the only 2 out of 65 to do such a thing.

I so wanted to yell, “You cheap rich bastards, ya’ll should all be donating your checks to me because I know ya’ll got money,” but it wasn’t worth it. I was just happy to not have to look at any of those people ever again in my entire life.

OK, so I won’t completely bore you, here are a couple of observations:

1. People still wear mullets. I see it sometimes on TV or film as a joke, but normal people actually still walk around looking like 1982. It’s sad.

2. And the jheri curl, damn, why won’t you die? This poor woman I saw – I bet her couch hates her.

3. I feel really sorry for all of the women walking around with about as much hair as a My Little Pony doll trying to rock a ponytail.

4. One of the defense attorneys was one of the hairiest, freckled-face blondes I had ever seen in my life. His eyelashes looked like they needed a comb. I started to ask him where Dorothy and the Oz crew were.

5. An Alabama accent seems harder to shake than a herpes outbreak.

And if nothing else now I know that in the future, should I get a jury summons I may want to check off ‘student’ to get an exemption. I can tell myself I’m a student of life. That or bring some kids like one woman who purposely showed up two hours late.

The Cynical Ones.
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