August 25th, 2008

Don't Hassle the Hoff

Jury Duty Day 5 - A Whole Lotta Nothin'

The afternoon start to proceedings was a blessing and a curse. First, the blessing:

I didn't have to worry about sleeping in until 1pm on Sunday, which meant I didn't even have to nurse my hangover from Saturday. I was able to stay up until a little after midnight watching Simpsons re-runs online, as well as finish my second Netflix movie of the weekend, 'Of Mice And Men'. First of all, I had no idea this was made in the early 90s, I figured this was an earlier Malkovitch work akin to 'Death Of A Salesman'. Secondly, if she was only a decade younger, I'd easily put Sherilyn Fenn in my top five celebrity women I wouldn't throw out of bed. She played the vixen daughter Audrey Horne in the classic television drama 'Twin Peaks' and in this movie she's the one who gets her neck snapped by Lennie Small. So hot, want to touch the heinie, arooo!

Anyway, getting back, I set my alarm for 10am today, farted around the house, had lunch at Katie Downs with my mom, farted around the house some more, and rolled into the Jury Room at about 1:20pm. Of course, now we're getting into the curse of the whole thing:

Didn't get to go upstairs until a little after 2pm, was forced to sit through another 2-hour question-and-answer session, and we STILL haven't settled on an official jury for this trial. PLUS, today was the last day I'm guaranteed full-pay from my work, which means if I'm stuck on this jury for realsies, I'll miss seven or more likely eight days' salary, the only day I'd be paid for being Labor Day. How do you like THEM apples. That's a solid $600+ after taxes.

Again, I wasn't able to speak much today, but I may have done just enough to avoid getting stuck on this thing. Without getting into specifics, let's just say I was a vocal minority among the jurors on a certain topic; completely truthful and accurate in my feelings nonetheless. After all, we did pledge allegiance to the truth when this all got started.

So, I'm back to the grind tomorrow at nine.

Other thoughts:

Are they going to bring up the film '12 Angry Men' in every single voir dire? And when people try to summarize the plot, are they going to continue getting it continually wrong? No, the person on trial in the film wasn't black. No, they did not visit the scene of the crime. No, the last guy to change his vote to Not Guilty was NOT the guy who wanted to go to the Yankees game. Am I the only person in Pierce County who gives a SHIT about the details???

I like how they keep asking us the same retarded questions like, "If you're up against eleven other jurors who think one way, are you just going to go along with the crowd to avoid confrontation?" Who's going to raise their hand and say, "Yeah, I think I'm gonna be a giant vagina who succumbs to peer pressure." Then, in the same breath, they want us to be open-minded and listen to all sides of things. So, what do you want? Do you want a person with a strong will and who holds to his convictions in the face of adversity, or do you want someone who will listen and consider all lines of thinking?

Even in the early stages of voir dire, both sides are gently nudging us to one side or the other. What IS reasonable doubt? What does 'burden of proof' mean to you? If a cop takes the stand, are you going to give his testimony more creedence than your average Joe Witness? To the parents out there, there's a broken vase and your two kids give conflicting reports on Who Did It, what do you do, what DO you DO? In law school, do they just give you a one-hour speed course on boring the piss out of potential jurors? From what I've gathered in a previous life before I even started Jury Duty, I kinda have an idea of who lawyers are looking for in a jury. The defense likes the elderly because they feel old people are more sympathetic. Women are always good for both sides, because for the defense you've got that same sympathy aspect at play, and for the state you've got a mothering instinct who'll want to see these thugs behind bars and away from their children. That just leaves your men who you've got to feel out, the defense sure as shit doesn't want any hard-liners in the box.

But shit, what do I know? All I can imagine is that as a young liberal-minded quasi-literate fellow, I'm not in too many key demographics for too many juries. If I'm wrong, I'm out a cool 600 bucks. If I'm right, I may only lose three days' pay. Looks like we'll find out tomorrow.
  • Current Music
    Metallica - Fade To Black