Wednesday, June 29, 2005

My Tuesday Jury Duty

On Monday evening, rushing back down to L.A. from Santa Rosa because my group had been called for jury duty on Tuesday, I called my favorite right wing friend, who shall remain unnamed.

“How do I get out of this thing” I asked?

He had had stellar success convincing the judge that he was not good jury material, simply by acting like himself. Under questioning, he explained to the judge that the American justice system is so f---ed up that if anyone does end up on trial, he must be guilty. The judge was, rightfully, convinced of my friend’s sincerity, and dismissed him. The question was whether I, as a non-believer could muster the arguments and the earnestness to convince the judge that I’m for real. I revved myself up to channel my friend. I would get released! In fact, they’d kick me out!

It ended up being a non-event. Along with about 200 other draftees, I spent most of the day in the juror holding area, waiting to be called to a court. While there, we had access to the many computers spread throughout the room for internet access, at a mere $6 an hour. Compare this to the $15 a day that L.A. County pays us for jury duty. Most of us, myself included, were not even called, and at 4pm were “released”, with a green slip we could show our employer, if we had one, indicating that we had indeed been on jury duty. They told us we didn't have to return.

We left the courthouse with the joy and excitement of school children that have been let out early.

I’m very relieved. Not so much because of the time I could have wasted on jury duty, but because if I were not able to wriggle myself out of it, it would have been a real blow to my self esteem.


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