Justice

Justice Is Blind

Being a senior and patriotic, I’m always conflicted when summoned for jury duty. When recently called upon to fulfill my civic responsibility, I realized I’d be traveling out of the country on the date in question. My only option was to request a postponement on-line. All government business seems to be done on-line these days, or at least it seems that way.

In this case, I went on-line and filled out the request to postpone my jury date. Weeks went by with no response, and fortunately remembering this fact just prior to my departure, I tried using the old school method of contact by telephone. After wading through numerous automated phone instructions, I was actually able to get a live person on the phone. I felt like popping open a bottle of Champagne.

When I explained I had asked for a postponement many weeks ago, the clerk told me they had no record of my request. Well, what do we do now? She was actually quite nice and said she could fill out another request for me. While we were in the middle of that procedure, she abruptly shouted, “Wait a minute, here it is, I don’t know why we didn’t send it out to you before.” Problem solved, but I was still not convinced a swat team wouldn’t show up on the date in question when I didn’t appear for duty.

For the record, I am perfectly willing to serve on a jury, but my previous experience tells me I will never be selected. The last time I went to serve soured me on the whole process. It took half a day to seat the first few jurors and then we had a lunch break. After lunch, two of the previously selected jurors were looking very smug in the jury box with their baseball hats on sideways, their pants sagging down to their knees, and their heavy chains glistening under the courtroom lights.

All was well until a county sheriff walked by and saw these two role models. He went up to the bailiff and whispered something he felt the judge should know. After that exchange, the judge asked if any of the seated jurors had a criminal case pending against them. Both of the two young men raised their hands and were quickly dismissed.

The system works, sort of, I thought to myself. I was then questioned and seated in the jury box. Before my seat was warm, the prosecutor said, “Your honor, we wish to dismiss Mr. Parker.” I then joined my two new best friends in the walk of shame.

Moral of the story: If you really want to serve, dress and act like a gang member. Justice is blind, and sometimes very, very stupid.

 

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