Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Grocery Store..

.. for Madeline Byrne of North Carolina (pictured right). A local Sheriff posted a summonsTHROUGH HER OPEN CAR WINDOW to appear for jury duty WITHIN THE HOUR or face contempt. No matter that the lady may have had commitments already!!

I remember jury duty only too well. The first job was to draw straws to see who would be jury foreman, the one that delivers the jury's verdict. It is a brave person indeed who would willingly take the position, especially if the supporters of the guy in the dock all look like they are directly related to Big Foot.

Sitting in the jury box, apart from being in direct view of the public gallery, could be quite boring. Seating was akin to church pews, with only a small flattened cushion to soften. The judge would tell us not to judge by appearances, but only to take into account the evidence from both sides. Prosecution and Defence counsel had a habit of talking in language that one usually associates with the small print on an insurance claim form.

The fun part of jury service is the private deliberation session. The court usher advises that refreshments will be provided. We all sit down. Somebody please start us off. OK, first problem is getting over the size and appearance, not of the guy in the dock who looks guilty as all hell, but of his supporter who sits in the middle of the unholy looking bunch, the one with the hair, and 6'7" before he stands up.

Is it any wonder that people do not want to serve on juries. Asking for protection just gets the same answer. "We can't do anything unless they do something first".

Very reassuring, huh..

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