Saturday, April 24, 2010

Definitely Not Atticus Finch

One of the other things I've had on the ...uh... docket, is this: Yep. I was on jury duty this week. I don't know how other states are, but our state has the "One Day/One Trial" system which means, once you receive your Jury Summons in the mail, you're given a specific week to call-in. Sometimes, though very rarely, you can make it through the week without having to actually go in at all. At that point, you're off the hook and can't be called again for at least a year.

More commonly, however, you will find that, at some point during the week of call-in, you'll be required to report to the courthouse. That was me this week. I skated through Monday without having to report. Monday night I called and, sure enough, I was required to report on Tuesday morning at 7:45. In L.A. Great. That means, because I decided to take the Metro instead of drive (If you've ever driven in L.A. during rush hour ... which, really, is just about every hour of the day, you know why I decided to take the Metro!), I had to leave the house quite early. The saving grace, however, is that the train drops you off, literally, right across the street from the courthouse - which is great!

About mid-day, I was called for a jury panel. Uh-oh, kiss of death! Having served Jury Duty many, many times, it's been my experience that, if called to a panel, I will nearly always be seated on a jury. This time? No exception - I became juror number 7. The judge explained that this was a misdemeanor case and shouldn't last more than a day. However, because the next day was the third Wednesday of the month, and because the courthouse is on furlough that particular day due to budget cuts, we all had to report back on Thursday for the actual trial.

It all went smoothly, though. As the judge said, the trial was just a one day event. I won't bore you with the details of the case or the trial itself. I will, however, comment that neither the defense nor the prosecuting attorney would give Atticus Finch a run for his money. And the case? Eh. From my perspective, at least, it was a complete waste of taxpayers money. But there you have it, justice in action.

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