Monday, December 7, 2009

A Jury of My Peers

Weeeeeeeelllll, I have now seen it all. That's a pretty big statement considering that I have seen quite a bit in my 40+ years.

I had to report for jury duty. Or as I now like to call it "Holy Batsh*t, our legal system is in a whole lotta hot water duty". I don't even know where to start with the whole-lotta wrong I saw.

I get to the court house early and finally find a parking spot that is somewhere between the building and the middle of bejesus nowhere. I park my car, pay the meter, walk in the rain/drizzle to the courthouse while avoiding the advances of a couple of "displaced" persons. Then I get to the courthouse and have to go through a metal detector and a security screening process that would be an embarrassment to even the White House screening staff. I took my knitting bag and a book since anyone who has ever been called to jury duty knows, you are going to be bored off your bum for hours on end. First off, my knitting needles were bamboo and the tips are rounded, so any threat this middle class white chick was going to be was to her yarn and not to the judge. Bubba the cop-wanna-be who was in charge of checking my bag, kept trying to UNSCREW the needles from the plastic cord that attaches them! Yep, boy wonder was a mental giant among men, but he is nothing compared to the people I got to spend the next couple of hours with in an air conditioned (it's 40 degrees outside!) room.

Once I sat down, I quickly got out my knitting and tried not to make eye contact. I heard somewhere that it's a sign of aggression in prisons and since a lot of the people in that room looked like they were fairly intimate with that part of our legal system, I wasn't taking any chances. Somewhere between my fifth K1P1 row, I looked up to see something that even in a Ho-ho/xanax induced craze, I would NEVER have thought up. There was this woman, weighing in at roughly 275 pounds, walking towards me. By looking at her hair and make up, you would have thought she was going to a casting call for The Love of Ray Jay. Then I caught full sight of her fashion choice for the day.

When I got my jury summons, right there at the bottom was a little note about wearing clothing appropriate for the somber atmosphere of a court room. I have no idea what it said at the bottom of this lady's jury summons. I think it might have said "Pimp and Ho attire welcome" or wear what you wore the last time you were in front of a judge. She had on jeans in a size she probably wore back in 1997, but hasn't seen since then and ~ wait for it~~~~~~ A TUBE TOP!!!! With sequins!!! And this tube top was working overtime trying to keep her massive mamas hidden from view. Personally, the fact that everyone in that room didn't get a full frontal assault from those jugglies is a testament to the strength of cotton. Did I mention it is December? It was 43 degrees outside? The jury room was freezing as well? To her credit, she had completed the outfit with a big Michelian Man looking parka, but she wasn't wearing it. Just carrying it around as a fashion statement. All of this was being moved around by a pair of 6 inch, bright red, plastic-leather-clear-heeled hooker heels.

It took me five minutes to close my mouth and realize she was not going to topple over me as she passed. And trust me, I was so relieved when she chose to sit on the bench two rows away from me. I spent the rest of the time waiting to be called, looking at this woman and thinking, "If this was your best choice of the things you had to wear. What was your second choice?"

After that it was pretty much a blur. I was called. They asked questions. I answered in the manner I felt that would work best to insure I NOT get selected. Yes, I believe in the death penalty for stealing candy from babies. Yes, I think we should bring back the guillotine. No, I don't think embezzling should be a capital offense, if you are taking rich people's money. Could we hurry this up my Knights of the White Magnolia meeting is in two hours and I have to pick my sheets up at the cleaners. Yeah, none of that worked because I was impanelled and have to report back on January 11th.

As we were being released for the day, I saw Ms. Tube Top walking out of the court house. Guess what? She had a nice notice of impanelment piece of paper in her hands as well. I now feel free to commit any crime I want, because I can tell you that if that woman was on my jury, I would have significant grounds for an appeal. None of my peers would be caught dead in a tube top, let a lone a tube top in a courtroom, in December!!


LarryLilly said...

I don’t know if you were at the joint off Commerce (little Red courthouse) or the one on the west side of Industrial. I have been to both several times. I don’t get ever picked since I am white, older and with a grey beard, I come across as no one about to seriously pretend that being stopped at 3am, failing a field sobriety test and trying to explain that you have issues with the Po-leese and were distracted and then failed the field sobriety test and no you don’t like needles and didn’t want a blood alcohol tests theory as to your innocence. Or that even if you are an illegal and you were found with the wallet of the deceased and seen on security cameras using the deceased credit cards that you “found” the wallet and it was a plant by the Po-leezia. That and also I am in the very small group of maybe ten out of 50 people in the jury pool that does not have any family members that ever did or is now doing time in jail.

Yeah, our jury system is F’d. No wonder O J was innocent.

dg said...

Friggin' Awesome! When I lived in Dallas, I was called for jury duty. I, too, made sure to answer definitively that the accused (and his rat comb that was tightly secured in the back of his 'fro) would most DEFINITELY get the death penalty from me, even if he was proven innocent. I would still picket outside the courthouse for him to die. Because I felt in my heart that he deserved it. I swear, the judge almost came out of his seat and strangled me. Thankfully, this tough stance from DG was enough to get me punted out of the lineup. But, guess who got in the final jury pool? A dude that offered me a lil' weed at lunchtime when I ran into him in the parking garage. Oh yeah. He was one of the twelve angry men assigned to judge Afro-tastic Capital Offense Rat Tail Comb Wearin' Guy. At least he was relaxed and all that.

Chemgeek said...

HA!!!! That's what you get for not showing up drunk.

Georgia said...

I hope she was dressed like that so that she wouldn't get picked!

(Your blog is awesome!!!)

MotherKaren said...

This is totally funny. Your perspective is spot on. I have a JD and have worked as a law clerk (done the calling of the jury pool)and been called for jury duty. You must remember the prosecutor gets to help pick the jury, too:)

LarryLilly said...

Hello, anyone in here?

Chemgeek said...

yeah, I agree with Larry.

Anyone here? Lisa? Where you at (as the kids would say)?

LarryLilly said...

Hey, aliens from inner space. Please resend that ransom note with an address in this universe so we can send the ransom money for Lisa's return.

And no, we dont ever take money for the return of an abducted person. Why would we pay you for her return?

You got her, you deal with it.

Its just her blog we want back. The drama you can keep!

Lisa, where are you????

Its almost spring break.