Friday, November 16, 2012

Jury Day: Part two

Choosing a jury is an art not a science. This is what the judge said and I liked his thoughtfulness. I also liked all of us who were sitting there waiting to be chosen. I think we were about 40 in all, a pretty even demographic of LA, a few who spoke english as a second language. It felt like we were in camp together, an outward bound type of thing and I liked listening to everyone answer questions. It's not always what they say, but how they say it.

Do you think it's important to always be honest and truthful?

I liked the woman who answered like that; it was sort of a "This is a stupid question but maybe you're asking it to get to something deeper about my personality so I'm going to answer in a vague way that really says I'm trying to figure you out" kind of response. I also liked the ones who answered simply and earnestly, like sweet kids talking to a grown up.

You state that you work at Home Depot.
Uh huh. I mean yes.
When you started working at Home Depot, did they give you a manual of guidelines that you were supposed to follow?
Yes, but I never read it.

It was an odd feeling being in the "selection" process, there is the part of you that naturally wants to be included and "chosen" and then the part of you that wants nothing to do with it. There is a part of you that wants to be helpful and do as you are told and the other part of you that is judgmental and reactionary. You're put in a group and given breaks at regular intervals, but told not to talk to each other about anything you see or hear in the courtroom.

This is very difficult for me. If someone tells me not to do something that is all I want to do, even if it's something I couldn't have cared less about to begin with. I wanted to pay my civic duty, but not for more than a day. I wanted to be picked for the team but I didn't want to have to play in the outfield.

Juror number 7, we understand you write a blog.
And will you be writing about your experience here today?
I don't know...Maybe something, you know, about the loud fart that no one acknowledged, but nothing about the case.
Good. (fake smile) And of all the questions we have been asking today are there any that you feel you need to address?
I think that most of the time a person who sues is ignorant, stubborn and has an inferiority complex.
Ok, thank you for your time.
And the whole notion of punitive damages has been abused.
Thank you.
And this state in particular is so litigious, that a teacher can't even pat a kid on the back without some desperate pervert accusing--
OK, Juror 7 thank you. You are released.


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