Saturday, June 12

Well, that was wierd... again.

So, I was nabbed for jury duty. I'm a strange one in that I don't really mind jury duty. What I mind is the location. I ALWAYS get called into the downtown LA Criminal Courts building. It's a hassle to get to and the people are CRA-ZY.

I had to be downtown at 7:45 am for the first morning. Nightmare! After an orientation period that took way too long, becuase people are way too stupid, the first jury panel was called. We were told the judge had a bit of required reading for the jurors called due to special curcumstances. It was also expected to be a 30 day trial. *gasp* Everyone held their breath while names were read. I've never been happier to work for an employer who does NOT have unlimited pay for jury duty. There were a bunch of cameras and members of the media out front and it eventually dawned on me that the 30 day trial was actually this high profile case. Phew! Unlike the victim I managed to dodge that bullet. (What? Too soon? Sorry!)

Instead, I sat through a few rounds of names and finally was called to a jury panel right before lunch. When we returned from lunch 18 people were called into the jury box for questioning. that took the rest of the day and most of the next. The attorneys thanked and excused half of them before I was called up. They didn't ask me much and I thought I was stuck for sure. I'm a reasonable person capable of being objective so I think I'm a pretty good pick for a juror. Then the defense attorney promptly excused me. He seemed to be excusing everyone with "Manager" in their title.

The few facts about the case that I was privy to were: The defendant, an older African American man, was accused of robbing a manager of some parking lots. The manager and his employees were of middle eastern descent.

But that those are the boring facts of the jury selection process. Here are the bizarre fun facts:

Out of about 25 people, 5-6 had DUIs on their records.

One man's brother-in-law had been convicted of drug trafficking. When asked if he felt his brother had been treated fairly he shrugged and said "Well, yeah. He WAS guilty." (LOL!)

A women explained that when she was a kid her sister was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping. (WTF?!)

Some woman's ex-boyfriend had been convicted of embezzlement from his employer... a bank. (Well thought out, moron.)

A man was car-jacked by "two white college kids" who stopped in front of his car, jumped out, put hoods over their heads, pulled out a sawed off shotgun and took his car. (I repeat... WTF?!)

One moronic kid, who looked like a wee Neanderthal, claimed that his parents had once been robbed. It was dark and they couldn't see who did it but they assumed a black man had done it. He was "raised to believe that all robberies were caused by black people". (WTF?!)

A young woman claimed to be so paralysed by the thought of judging the facts of an alleged crime that she was shaking. (You imbecile!)

Another woman claimed that she hated cops because her parents had been robbed and they never caught the mask wearing gunman. When the judge asked "So you dislike police officers because they couldn't catch a man your parents couldn't identify?" she said yes. Then again, she also hated robbers because one had terrified her parents. She pretty much hated both sides of the case which may seem to make things even but apparently not. (You moron!)

A young man born in Israel claimed that all middle easterners were liars. When pressed he shrugged and said "It's been my experience that they always lie." When the judge asked where exactly the alleged victims were from we learned they were from Jordan. The potential juror shrugged again and said "Well, we did have a war with them." The judge said :Yes, but it's been a while. Things seem to be better lately wouldn't you say?" The juror agreed but again stated they were all liars. (OMG!) I later asked him if her really believed that. He admitted that he did not believe it but he'd seen how the other bigot got off so he thought he'd give it a try.

Way too many woman had been robbed or held at gun point. (Jesus!)

One woman had been convicted of grand theft auto when she was 14. She's now a born again Christian. (WTG!)

The girl next to me had six toes. (I am SO NOT kidding.)

These are just a smattering of the horrors I heard from these people before being excused.

OH! And did I mention that I could TOTALLY see the defense attorney's shwanger through his ill fitting pants? I'm not one to stare at a man's crotch but he seemed to have a pack of cigarettes in one pocket and keys in the other so it caught my attention. I then realised I could clearly see that he was circumcised. Ewwww! It was like seeing your bosses package through his pants. I was entirely grossed out.

So, it seems my Summer of Horror marched on in ways I'd never anticipated. I'm still recovering. I sorry to say that I learned that when people really don't want to be on a jury the men act like mega racist pigs and the women act stupid, confused and unreasonable. I'm so depressed.

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