Guilty As Charged, Your Honor

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RH  Courthouse.jpgCalled for jury duty. Postponed once because of travel commitments, no further reprieve. Two-day, one-trial obligation, but if you're actually selected for a panel, it's for the duration. Totally random process.

Feel like hanging somebody. Coffee machine (the hi-tech one that takes credit cards and makes 17 kinds of instant) is out of order. My 7 AM solo espresso wears off by mid-morning.

Interesting mix among the 200+ citizens who showed up. Older males, younger females (generally, generally). Very few black faces, very few Asians, very few recognizable Latinos (and they call out the names, too). One woman in a headscarf. It could almost be a PTA meeting at a private school in the suburbs, it's so white.

Interlude: lunch at Il Corvo. Line out the door. Line through the restaurant. Superb dish of pappardelle bolognese. No wine allowed, alas.

Back to a 7th floor courtroom. Judge, clerk, bailiff all female. Plaintiff from Eritrea. Voir-dire drags on through the afternoon.

In the end, after sitting around waiting to be called, lining up like third-graders to enter the courtroom, listening to the judge tell us what a great thing it was to "serve." listening to plaintiff's counsel and defendant's counsel, holding our juror cards aloft to signify whatever default answer they wanted, responding to interrogatories and clumsily phrased hypotheticals, watching half a dozen overly qualified techies and legal beagles get challenged for cause (denied), then peremptorily challenged (no appeal, but be careful what you wish for; a black family physician ended up replacing a white ER doc), the luck of the draw had it that I'd been randomly assigned a high number in the pool so neither side had the benefit of my wisdom, my experience, my dactylographic skills. By 4:20 I was back on the sidewalk awaiting the D RapidRide.

I will be paid $10 + bus fare for my labors. Lunch, at Il Corvo, was $9.95 before tax & gratuity. Thank you for your service, they said on my way out. All done for the week, they said, no need to come back tomorrow, after all.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on December 1, 2017 10:17 AM.

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