Sunday, November 30, 2008

Duty calls

I'm on call for jury duty this week. Every year they call me. Every year I sit and wait for my turn to be grilled for suitability and every year they pick their 12 angry men and women before they get to me.
I've known people who served on the Manson jury for 9 months. I've had friends who were part of the Scott Peterson trial for 9 months. These people, rather than basking in the post-trial limelight and signing lucrative book deals, were basket cases in the end.
A friend of mine told me her mother always got out of jury duty by answering their questions with completely unrelated answers: Like, 'Do you believe in capital punishment?' And the mother would answer: 'I don't think global warming is man-made.' They finally gave up on her.
Last year I waited through the selection process for a triple murder trial. An old man was called up. 'What?' he said to every question. They gave him a hearing device but still, he'd crane his neck and say, 'What?' to every question until they finally released him.
I think it pays to listen to our elders. They seem to know how to navigate this world.

1 comment:

A Voice of Sanity said...

Buy a set of colored pencils from the dollar store. When you get your notice, fill in every answer with a different color for each letter. Draw pictures of people being executed by different methods in the margins. I'm told you won't be called - ever.

BTW, I've been following the Scott Peterson trial for 5 years. I'm not a basket case - just angry that such nonsense passes for a trial in the USA, a country which claims to have justice.