The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban
substitute

snippets from my day of jury duty

If you go to court in Orange County, California, expect to be tried by fiftysomething consultants who are very active in their church group. The women will have big hair, all of them.

For bruisedhips: one of the prospective jurors was a woman whose job is writing study guides for pastors based on The Purpose-Driven Life and she and her husband lead weekend study groups about marriage for couples.

The woman sitting behind me in the “we might get picked for the Box” seats said “oh.... GOD!!!” every time anything at all happened.

The defendant was a slight, pinched-face young African-American man charged with domestic violence. He was obviously a member of the great American underclass: ambling, tilting gangsta walk, bad leather jacket for his good court day, hunted look.

One prospective juror successfully got out of service by overdoing his Vietnamese accent and not understanding anything at all, but was playing it way up. The judge was angry at him, and so were we. He’d been in this country 18 years and was a software developer; there’s no way he didn’t understand what was going on. His ching-chong-chinaman act was painful to watch.

I was impressed by the impression of honesty, forthrightness, and willingness to serve that just about everyone showed. It was pretty clear that the 13 people they ended up with would take this seriously and do their best. That’s what I would want, which ever side of the thing I was on.
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