tales of a girl in the city

janvier 24, 2004

Re: Jury Duty.

My faithful and brilliant reader Sam had requested in his comment last Wednesday that I try to get picked for a murder trial. I gave it my all, Sam. Just for you. But, in the end, the nearest I could get was a stabbing involving two drug dealers and no witnesses. Good enough? We're talking attempted murder, crack cocaine, word against word, deception, revenge, punishment--the whole shebang. This was high stakes, Ladies and Gentlemen. And I took my civic duty very seriously. Very seriously, just as the video with Jane Pauley and the cast of 60 Minutes had instructed me to do. All day I looked deep into the heart of my belief system, trying to come to terms with the qestion I was faced with in that sacred hall where Truth reigns supreme:

Was the defense attorney wearing a wig?

Frankly, Guys, I still don't know.

Having now witnessed the American Justice System in action, I have come to some major conclusions. Those of you studying law would be well advised to print these next lines and refer to them often:

1) The American Justice System could use a new instructional video; 1970 was a bad, bad year for Jane Pauley.

2) The American Justice System's new instructional video should, however, keep the scene where the medieval extras tie up an accused thief and throw him into the lake to see if he floats (guilty) or sinks to his death (innocent). It's funny.

3) The American Justice System has yet to incorporate either of the following two concepts: "good lighting," "joie de vivre."

4) The American Justice System vs. A Barrel of Monkeys? Monkey Barrel. No contest.

My last observation regarding The AJS is of a more personal nature. My day as a juror proved to me--beyond any reasonable doubt--that I have no shame left and can cry about M absolutely anywhere.