Because I was horrid to my eighth grade algebra teacher, God has seen fit to punish me by giving me jury duty. I am halfway through with my four-month responsibility, and it is every bit as dreadful as you think it is.
Here’s how it works, every Monday from January 1 to April 30, I have to call the courthouse to listen to a recording to tell me whether I have to report on Tuesday. I am, appropriately named, a “Tuesday juror.” This makes scheduling life on Tuesdays particularly flaky. Sure, I can go chaperone a field trip for Monkey Boy… unless I have to decide whether a not a man was unintentionally intoxicated when he robbed a bank. Won’t know till just a few hours before. Sorry. (I’m already such a great room mom that this has really helped my cause.)
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the merits of a jury system. I am actually one of the few people who left in the world who thinks, by and large, a jury system of law is good one. I have true believerism where civic duty, voting and access to justice issues come into play. I get it. I’m for it. I just don’t see why it has to be so inconvenient. (Fine, my real true believerism is about personal comfort.)
So far, I’ve only had to report twice. Both times my bra set off the metal detector. Guys, this is not a particularly sophisticated piece of equipment strapped to my body. It’s possible that’s a little overkill. I would believe it was tight security, since it’s a criminal courthouse, except they make no actual attempt to look through the ginormous purse I carry. Lord only knows what Monkey Boy could have tossed in there. If you’re looking for weapons, I could totally be packing and not even know it. But hey, my bra clasp has been identified and will absolutely not hurt you.
My first time reporting, I was questioned. The prosecutor on the case was a former client. Um, yeah, that sent me home in a hurry. I’ll admit it was kinda fun to a bunch of defense attorneys stand up quickly and shout, “Sidebar, your honor!” when that bit of information was revealed. There was talk of dismissing me permanently from the pool, but alas, it has not yet happened.
The second time I had to report, I was not questioned individually. But at the beginning of each case, they bring in the attorneys, clients, witnesses, etc and read their names and ask if anyone knows or has some kind of connection to these people. Reasonable enough. During this part of the questioning on Tuesday, we were asked if we also knew the current or former spouses of a particular woman. She was one of the defendants in the case and reported having been married six times. She was not able to provide the names of THREE of the men she had been married to because SHE COULDN’T REMEMBER THEM.
(I’ll give you second to let that sink in.)
We were told, on three separate occasions, this woman had entered into the vows of holy matrimony with men, but could not now remember so much as their name. The OTHER three times she had done this, she had been able to retain at least that fact. I’m generally a “live and let live” kind of girl, but wow.
I just have to make it through the next two months. Sadly, this whole experience has left me with a little less hope for humanity and lot more respect for David Allen Coe.