Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jury Duty

Just today I completed my Jury Duty for the year, after two deferrals
and one outright evasion, with a total of about four hours of service.
I say this to brag, because everyone knows how annoying jury duty is
(civic pride, America, rights, yada yada. It sucks, admit it). In my
case, I was called to civil court in San Francisco, which is a much
easier commute and generally cleaner experience than criminal court.
We filled out questionares yesterday and came back for selection this
morning, only to have the judge tell us that we were free because the
parties had settled. The whole pool applauded.

I was resigned to being there, so getting released was a kind of
bonus. I'm surprised to feel the return of weeks of imaginary lost
time and what a relief that is. I feel funny though, because we
facilitated a game of legal chicken. The judge even praised us for our
mere prescence - 70 people made the parties think twice about shooting
the dice. That means that everything in the suit leading up to today
was just a lot of clucking and showing of tail feathers, all to see
who would blink. I felt kind of strange facilitating that kind of
resolution.

Something else was strange. Sitting in the jury room yesterday, I felt
that I had seen many of the people in that same room before. When roll
call was read, I recognized all of the names. When I returned today, I
had the same experience, with a different set of people. Everyone was
familiar.

I wonder if nothing ever changes there except for the trials. The same
people serve on juries over and over, thinking that it's their first
time.

\t : iPhone->you

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