Wednesday, July 28, 2010

White smoke (Daily Photo 7.27.10)

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Had jury duty today. The process by which jurors are picked for trials is tedious, arcane, papal -- 66 of us locked in a guarded and sacred chamber, not counting the people in uniform, ordered not to discuss anything we say here among ourselves our family our friends our neighbors the press or strangers, with candidates being selected or rejected on clear political grounds or for the appearance of political grounds or for other reasons which are explained. I was seated on the jury for a while, in seat 11, and kept busy during the hours of waiting by noticing how much wood everything seemed to be made of, the floors benches tables podiums chairs rails and ornamental wainscoting, and how ornately carved and majestically stained it all was, and how there were CFLs in every socket of every candelabrum and a dark oil painting of Daniel Webster above the bench, fingers tapping, resting my feet on an old metal bar in the front of the jury box and wondering if the fidgeting and looking around somehow made me less or more desirable as a juror, and not sure whether being that was itself, to me, more or less desirable and so should I do less or more of it. Both lawyers shuffled papers and eyed the 14 of us in the box, strategizing, holding the questionnaires like cards in a gin rummy game, while a stenographer stood holding a contraption like a gas mask over her face and whispering into it. Eventually I was discarded. I don't know why and I'm not bothered about it.

2 comments:

Andrew Whitacre said...

My jury duty story is much less wooden. For fifteen minutes I was on the jury for the retrial of that guy who slowly poisoned his wife with antifreeze. I only got off the jury when I realized it would conflict with my bachelor party, which I had to state for the record, under oath, in the witness box, in front of the judge, the lawyers, and the defendant, who all promptly laughed at me.

(The defendant was convicted for murder in the first degree. Ha ha to him.)

peteinnh said...

49 yrs, never been called.

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