Twelve Temperate Men (and Women)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Jury Duty.

As I took my seat in the courtroom, I saw “F– the police” scratched into the wooden bench.  That’s the kind of classy crowd you’ll find at 26th and California, Cook County’s main criminal courthouse.  I was hoping I’d spend the day in the waiting room watching The Price Is Right (Drew Carey, now?) but in hindsight I’m glad my number got called.  Serving on a jury is quite an experience.  As one of our alternate jurors put it, “It’s really fascinating and really boring at the same time.”  But she didn’t even get to deliberate, so who cares what she has to say?

The trial itself was pretty interesting, if fairly straight forward.  Our deliberation took all of 5 minutes — one vote and we all agreed on both charges.  The lawyers were all equally mediocre.  We felt like they were trying too hard to play lawyer tricks on us, all of which failed miserably.  Law & Order it was not.

During the substantial downtime we chatted about the books we were reading.  One older gentleman had the autobiography of wrestling superstar, Chyna.  “It’s a great book.  I’ve read it four times, and she signed it!  You know she used to do the Jane Fonda workout twice every day?”  When it was over we all went our separate ways with certificates of jury service and checks for $17.20.

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