Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Everyone into the jury pool

Well, I had to report for jury duty today. The experience did nothing to perpetuate my faith in the jury system. I was glad that I was excused, but the guy they kept didn't seem qualified to sit on a jury. As a matter of fact, he announced that fact when we first got into the waiting room, and still, he ended up on the jury. As soon as this guy arrived, he announced that he needed to speak with someone. The court officer very kindly said that, as soon as we had transacted some business, he would be happy to listen. The "juror" later told the officer that he shouldn't be on a jury because he had short-term memory problems and couldn't hear. Well, the officer said, he should have let someone know when he received his summons. He did say that the judge, if we got that far, would ask everyone if there was a reason they couldn't serve. Well, since this gentleman had short-term memory problems, he probably didn't remember that when he was questioned.

I don't know what I said that caused the attorneys to dismiss me and, as I said, I was glad they did. But this guy was in no condition to decide a case. He didn't watch the video that explained the difference between evaluating evidence in a criminal case from that of a civil case. He didn't communicate with anyone in the waiting room. He definitely had problems.

There was another guy who slept the entire time we were in the waiting room. Fortunately, he didn't get on the jury. It's kind of scary what a "jury of one's peers can actually look like.

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