Thursday, July 19, 2007

Literary Jury Duty; Part 2

It became poigantly clear to me--again--why I write. I'd been bothered with events from yesterday's jury service. It sat with me and I didn't know how to discuss it. I was lying in bed and I was pulled from bed by some unknown force to write this post.

Alot of us were assembled to possibly serve on a jury. The judge said he will excuse people who will suffer from SEVERE financial hardship by taking time to serve as a juror. He won't excuse people just because they were needed elsewhere. Working class joe behind me raises his hand and says he must help his father, a holocaust survivor, run the small family business. Joe says he is the only caretaker of his father and without him, his father can't run the shop. If he can't run the shop, there is no income. The judge decided that is not sufficient enough to warrant dismissal from jury duty due to severe financial hardship.

People he dismissed:

1. A woman who had vacation plans and already paid for the trip.

2. An independent casting director who needed to find work.

3. An attorney who has several cases pending and without his cases he has no income.

They are considered people who would suffer severe financial hardships, while a little enterprise, run by an old guy who can only do the job with the help of his caregiving son, Joe, is not. Hmmmmm. I wonder if the judge let 1,2, and 3 go because he can identiy with their plight.
We got back for more Jury selection on Tuesday.


DJ Black Adam said...

Hmmm, I agree with you, the system definately is a respecter of persons.

jasonphoon said...

That's totally ridiculous...

I can't believe Joe got passed on by a woman going for a vacation !

Pete said...

Yeah I'm with you. Justice can be a joke at times. I served on a jury and the whole enterprise was frustrating, crazy, incomprehensible at times, and very capricious. And slowwwww. But we jurors bonded! We even got together after the case concluded for drinks.

Hang in there. Who knows what fodder you're gaining!


Liz said...

No wonder you got out of bed to write about that. How absolutely disturbing. It's so wrong that that judge did that. You are probably right about the judge identifying with the folks he let off. I'm such a softie that I know I would have let everyone go.

You're also reminding me that I'm still waiting for my check for jury duty. Now that I'm unemployed, I need money!

Don Cummings said...

I have always felt that we should have professional a pool--and for each trial, they are chosen completely randomly. This would give steady income for the jobless. People with jobs would never have to leave work.
Jury duty, to me, seems like hell on earth (though I hear some people love doing it)-- I'd rather hunt skunks.