Friday, May 08, 2009
I indeed have to report for jury duty at 7:45 a.m. (whimper) on Monday. AND -- horror of horrors! -- they don't allow sharp objects, expressly including knitting needles, in the courtroom.
Hmmmph. Well, I guess I'll get a lot of reading done. If I'm not chosen for a case, I'll probably be able (I hope?) to keep my Tuesday commitments. If I am chosen, then I'll probably be able (I hope?) to keep my commitments next week.
Or I may just have to cancel and reschedule everything for both weeks. Sigh.
I like jury duty, honest, and I feel strongly that everyone who's capable should indeed serve. I think I made a difference, the one time I was on a jury in New Jersey. The prosecutors were clearly counting on race and class bias and did a very sloppy job making their case, which made me and two other people (both black) angry. The three of us convinced the other nine jurors, whose attitude was basically, "Yeah, he's guilty, let's get out of here so we can eat lunch," to acquit the defendent on one of the charges, although we all agreed he was guilty on the other.
I don't know what difference, if any, this made in the defendent's life, but I felt like the three of us talked the others into doing the right thing, and did so by reminding them of the law. The burden of proof rests on the prosecution, and these prosecutors had gotten really lazy.
A friend to whom I told this story said, "I'd want you on my jury if I were on trial, but I'm not sure how many lawyers would want you on their jury." And my boss said, "You think they're going to put someone with a PhD on a jury in this county?"