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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My Day In The Courtroom

I have never served on a jury before. After today I still haven't served on a jury! I have always wanted to be a juror to see what the process is like firsthand. I have been called in the past, but had always just wasted away in the jury assembly room only to be told at the end of the day that the case was settled or they didn't need us anymore and we were excused. Today I actually made it out of the jury assembly room and into the courtroom for the first time ever. I was getting excited about finally getting to serve. There were sixty potential jurors brought into the courtroom. I was the eighth person called up and made my way to the jury box. There looked to be a good mix of people called on the first round. Before I go further, I want to back up and tell everyone about my expectations when I walked into the courtroom. There were two lawyers and a defendant when we walked in. The defendant had long hair, dark complexion, total skank, and looked to be around in her early twenties. I thought to myself that this was probably some Newport Beach bimbo that got caught driving under the influence of alcohol or something like that. Boy was I wrong! It turned out that she, the defendant, used to be a he! It was hard not to start busting out laughing. So I'm in the jury box and the judge starts his spiel about criminal versus civil, the burden of proof, circumstantial versus direst evidence, would we have a problem wit transgender/transexuals,etc. Then he started asking us, the jurors, if we had any religious, moral, or philosophical hang ups that might render us unable to be fair and impartial. Some uppity older man raised his hand and started talking how homosexuality was a sin and that he would have a hard time viewing the evidence fairly because of his biases. Nuff' said, your gone, bye bye. I raised my hand and having the libertarian streak in me, said that I didn't think prostitution should be illegal because it is a victimless crime. As George Carlin said in one of his classic lines..." selling is legal, f**king is legal, why isn't selling f**king legal?" Anyway, I said I could still be impartial to the judge and he let the lawyers continue their jury questions, but I knew i had just blown my chance of serving on this jury. Pretty soon it got down to excersising peremptory challenges. The defense was first and got rid of a guy that had previously told the judge that he thought homosexuality was a sin, so he got axed. It was now the DA's turn and guess who got his ass dismissed? You guessed it, me. See ya later alligator. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. At least I was honest about my opinions. I'm sure a lot of people lie to get on a jury, but I would not be one of them. Anyway, I'm curious what happens at this trial. Hopefully the OC Register will have a little blurb about this case when it finishes, but I doubt it. Oh well, at least I actually got to sit in the jury box finally. Some day I will serve as a juror.


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