Redneck Review

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Jury of Your Peers

Oh, don't want to have your jury composed of the
folks I had jury orientation with. Me excluded, of course, since
I would make the perfect decision every time.

The judge told us that a computer program selects the jury pool,
based on eligible residents of the county. That means they have
to be 21 years old. So out of that 240 people who were sent a
jury letter, you would expect about the same amount of people
in each age group. No. I am no spring chicken, but the vast
majority of juror prospects were definitely my elders.

I saw one boy with a fresh military haircut who looked about 21.
There was a girl who appeared to be in her early twenties. About
20 people looked like they were thirty-something. Hmm...forties...
about 50 people. This leaves the rest of them, about two-thirds of
all the future jurors, in their 50's, 60's, and 70's. Not that there's
anything wrong with that. They have a lot of life experience to base
their opinions on. But the way I figure it, there should have been
about 40 people in each age group.

Age was not the only problem. The letter that was sent out clearly
stated that this was ORIENTATION. It said to complete the form,
and bring it to the courthouse at the specified time to find out what
was required for jury duty.

Here are some conversations I heard from the rows in front and
behind me.
"Why do we have to sit so close?"

"They said we'll know by 9:00. I guess they're expecting a crowd."

"Yeah. After we're done, they're gonna move all these pews against
the wall and we're having a dance."
"I have to go to the bathroom. Is anybody allowed to go to the
bathroom? Ma'am? Are there any bathrooms on this floor?"

Deputy Gal: "Right through those doors and turn left. You can go

(It was 8:45. Why didn't she just go downstairs before she came up
to the court room?)
"I got called one other time when I lived in the city. I told the judge
I couldn't do it because I didn't drive"

"Did that work?"

"He asked to see my drivers' license. Then he said I could drive,
so that excuse wouldn't work. But I never got called."
There were two older men and a woman with a cane sitting up front,
in one of the jury boxes by the door to the judges' chambers. I
assumed they had letters from a doctor, since the deputy at the
door had been asking as people went in. Some folks behind me
thought this was a trial.

"Which one do you think is the criminal?"

"Not the lady. She looks grouchy. I bet she's the court stenographer."

"I think it's that one by the wall. I think he did it, too."

"That other one must be his lawyer. He sure didn't dress up."
"How long do you think this trial will last?"

"I don't know. I hope we're out of here by 2:00."
Spindly, the frail old lady who rode in the elevator with me, said,
"I didn't fill out that paper. Do you think I should fill it out?"

"Yes. It said to fill it out and bring it."

"Well, I don't have a pen."

"We need one of those clipboards." (I told Deputy Gal.)
"It's gonna take a long time for them to interview all of us."

"They won't call us in separately. They ask 'Does anybody here
have someone in the system?' and then we raise our hands."

"Oh, and they count the hands?"

"Yeah. Then they might ask 'Who has something against plea

"What's plea bargaining?"

"When you give them some choices."
Yikes! There needs to be a common sense test to see who can
qualify for jury duty. I don't even want to know what the other
17 rows were talking about.


  • At 3:47 AM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Hi Hillbilly Mom,
    It sounds like this place is a bit of a Kangaroo Court. People are guilt before they are proven innocent.
    Mind you, Ihave seen that shady look in your eyes, I know you did it! Now, to just firgure out what the crime was.

  • At 3:48 AM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger Redneck Diva said…

    That's too funny. I wish I'd get called again... you make me nostalgic for jury duty, Hillbilly Mom!

  • At 4:08 PM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    These people thought we were having a trial that day. I'm glad I wasn't sitting up front. They might have convicted me of stalking & stealing.

    That's one I never thought I'd hear. I bet you entertained them all. What is your grand finale, hobbling around on a fat foot and eating free cheese? If you're in court again, say hello to my buddy, "Fitty."


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