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The right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, and I would most totally win this, you guys

Today, I got what might well be the most exciting piece of mail in the entire world.

Ironically enough, I might be the only person in all of America who’s excited about getting this particular piece of mail.

BACKTRACK!

When I was in my first year of grad school, and was working at a clothing store and taking a whole bunch of random lit classes because I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grow up (still don’t, just making it up as I go along), I got called for jury duty.

I was living in glorious Binghamton at the time. (I MISS YOU, BINGHAMTON!) I was SO EXCITED about this. JURY DUTY! I would be doing my civic DUTY! I would be making a JUDGMENT about a PERSON who was either GUILTY or NOT GUILTY! I would be watching JUSTICE IN ACTION!

PRIDE!!!!

PRIDE!!!!

So I told my job I needed some time off (which kind of sucked, because it was a part-time job, so it wasn’t like it had a jury duty pay policy or anything) and I dressed up in FANCY LADY CLOTHES (ok, I was like 21 or 22, so I think that meant I wore a hippie skirt and some sort of nice-ish teeshirt and not Doc Martens) and drove on over to the courthouse. The courthouse! Ooh, this was the big time now!

There were a lot of us, and we all sat in the courthouse and then the lawyers started calling up jurors and questioning them. I watched a lot of law shows. I knew how this all went down. Some would be DENIED! Because they were BAD NEWS! I anxiously waited my turn because I knew I would win jury selection. I mean, I was in my FANCY clothes. And I was MOST impressive. I knew all about law. I would be a very good jury member. Of course they would want me!

This guy got in wearing an Adidas shirt. I WORE FANCY CLOTHES, COME ON!

This guy got in wearing an Adidas shirt. I WORE FANCY CLOTHES, COME ON!

Well, almost twenty years ago is where I learned that teevee is very seldom like real life. No one got rejected in a dramatic fashion. The lawyers asked the potential jurors very softball questions, mostly like “Do you feel you can serve impartially on a jury?” And everyone was accepted. All twelve of them. The first twelve people they called. Leaving the fifty or so (I don’t even remember how many there were, it seemed like a lot) of us sitting in the courtroom anxiously awaiting our turn in the hot seat sad and forlorn. (OK, fine. Only I was sad and forlorn. The rest of those people looked like they’d won the lottery, because if you show up and you’re not accepted, you don’t get called again for like 4 years or something like that.)

I left very sad, because FOUR YEARS, you guys. That is a very long time.

Can I just ask – why don’t people want to serve on jury duty? I think it would be SO EXCITING. First, you don’t have to go to work, and you still get paid (at least some of your salary, if not all of it, depending on your job and its policies.) THEN, you get to go to a courthouse! And listen to a LIVE LAW AND ORDER EPISODE! And then you get to decide whether the person is innocent or guilty! I mean, seriously. Could this BE any more fun? Why do people get so weird about this and not want to do it? Is it because they don’t want to judge another person? Well, that person is given a jury of their peers, it’s the rule, if no one served, he or she couldn’t get what they were promised, and what they deserved, you know? Also, didn’t you see 12 Angry Men? I mean, seriously, don’t you want to be one of the angry men? WHY NOT?

Don't you want to be an angry man? I totally do. I would rock at that.

Don’t you want to be an angry man? I totally do. I would rock at that.

Fast forward almost TWENTY years. I have never been called for jury duty since. Not even once. Mom sent me a pamphlet that said “how to volunteer for jury duty” but it was unhelpful. Everyone I knew was getting called for jury duty. Some people like every four years like CLOCKWORK. This seemed very unfair. VERY unfair. Didn’t they know I would be the best on jury duty? Like, THE best? Is that why they weren’t calling me? Like, they were afraid I would be so much better than everyone else and they didn’t want to give people a complex?

Today, when I got my mail, it was a lot of crap. Coupons for something I don’t even buy (sigh); a flyer for a grand reopening of a store that never closed (confusing); a letter from my insurance company telling me they wouldn’t pay for ADHD screening for my children (sorry, Dumbcat and Newcat) and then…THIS!

What could THIS be, I ask you? FEDERAL COURT!!!

I know, the first thing you’re thinking is that I’ve been served. NO I WAS NOT SERVED!

OMG WHAT IS THIS?!?!? It is MERKA, you guys! MERKA!!! Well, on a small scale. NEW YORK MERKA! OK, not even all of New York. NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK MERKA!!!

THEY WANT TO DETERMINE MY QUALIFICATIONS AS A JUROR YOU GUYS! FOR THIRTY-TWO COUNTIES!!!!

Also, check out the middle there. “Northern District’s Master Jury Wheel.” I totally imagine all of our names on a big old Wheel-of-Fortune wheel and the Jurymaster spinning it with a devilish look in his eyes and saying “TODAY WE WILL CHOOSE LUCY’S FOOTBALL!!!”

I WIN! What do I win? JURY DUTY!

I WIN! What do I win? JURY DUTY!

So I talked to Mom tonight and I was all “MOM! MERKA! JURY! I WILL WIN THIS! I WILL MAIL THIS BACK WITH A POST-IT ON THERE THAT SAYS ‘PLEASE PLEASE PICK ME I WOULD BE THE BEST AT THIS DON’T YOU WANT TO MAKE MY WHOLE LIFE COMPLETE?!?!’ Mom was quite sure this would make them throw my survey away, as no one WANTS to serve on jury duty, so they would think I was a crazyperson. WHY IS THIS? I seriously don’t get it.

“Mom, I would be not ONLY the best jury member, I would be IMMEDIATELY picked to be FOREMAN of the jury, and I would be the BEST foreman. I would hand out PAPER and PENCILS and ask if anyone needed to see any of the EXHIBITS again and then POLL THE JURY to see where we STAND and see if we are DEADLOCKED and also I would organize our LUNCH ORDER. It would be the best. THE. BEST. Why haven’t they called me before this to see how the best I am?”

This would be me, only I would be so much better. SO MUCH BETTER.

This would be me, only I would be so much better. SO MUCH BETTER.

Mom changed the subject. I’m pretty sure that’s because she agreed how much the best I’d be.

When I told DAD, he told me the following story:

“I also got one of those questionnaires a couple months ago and it said you had to return it in ten days but it asked a lot of questions I wasn’t comfortable with the government knowing so I refused to return it even though your mother yelled at me. Then the other day they sent me another one, and do you know what it said? That they were going to send me to JAIL if I didn’t fill it out! To! JAIL! Well, if that’s not a sign of a government conspiracy, I don’t know what is!”

So Dad’s probably going to jail, so that’ll be nice, I’ll have to bake him a cake with a file in it or something.

So then I read the letter and it said I didn’t even HAVE to mail it back in. I could fill it out online! Well, that means they would get it faster. And I would be on the wheel of jury duty destiny FASTER. I’m completely cool with that.

So I answered all the questions. Most of which were things like “ARE YOU A WHITE PERSON?*” (*WE ARE NOT RACIST WE PROMISE!) and “Do you know English?” (since the questionnaire was IN English, I don’t know that I’d have gotten to that page had I not) and “Are you a dentist?” (Yeah, I don’t…I think that was a way you could get out of jury duty? I guess if you don’t show up to clean someone’s molars you might not get paid and that’d be bad? I don’t know.) I answered them with VERVE. And PANACHE. And MUCH JOY.

Now I wait, I guess.

Dear United States District Court (MERKA!):

OMG, this is so much Merka it makes my head almost explode with Merkaness.

OMG, this is so much Merka it makes my head almost explode with Merkaness.

No one wants to serve on your jury. I know you must be so sad about that. Like someone picked last in gym class. Like you’re a joke. I feel terrible about that, USDC (MERKA!) and therefore and happily volunteering my services. I love to vote! I happily do it every time I’m allowed! I tell others to do it in a haranguing tone all the time! And now I would be HAPPY to serve on a jury! For any sort of case! A large case (HATCHETMURDER!) A small case (JAYWALKING!) I don’t even care! I would be very good at this, USDC (MERKA!)

Also, even though I’m very chatty, I promise I will not talk about our super top-secret case online. I will only talk about it in the most veiled of terms. Think of how many people will want to serve on a jury once I tell everyone in the blogosphere how cool it is, USDC (MERKA!)

Also, I know now that fancy dressing is not a skirt and a teeshirt and whatever shoes are not Doc Martens. I totally have GROWNUP clothes now. I will dress up for you, USDC (MERKA!) I will dress up for you SO HARD.

Don’t leave me hanging, here, friend. You call me. I will be the best at this. I like to win. And I will win this for you.

Most sincerely yours, your future best juror in the history of ALL OF MERKA,

Amy.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

43 responses to “The right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, and I would most totally win this, you guys

  • GalInTheGreyHat

    Oooh that is pretty sweet. I actually got to be questioned once for jury duty…like I got in the box. I thought for sure they would pick me, but no. I really wanted to be picked. I felt like I was back on the playground not getting picked for kickball.

    Best of luck!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I want to be questioned. I want to go in the courthouse. Is it the one downtown that I park at sometimes when I go to the theater around the corner, I wonder? I always want to go in there. It seems so fancy and also kind of forbidding.

      Like

  • Amber

    I had a friend who was rejected from jury duty once for being too “intelligent and logical” lol.

    But yeah, as much fun as it would be, it’s sometimes super expensive. If me or my husband got called up, jury duty would cost us $175 a day, and we would be reimbursed $6 a day. No bueno when you’ve got two small kids, a mortgage, a falling apart house, and you’re living on a school teacher’s salary. A trial might last a few days, and that could honestly destroy us. We’d get lights and water turned off, at the very least. Kinda sucks, because if it weren’t for that, it would be really fun. :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Heh, too intelligent and logical. I can play dumb if they need me to. I just want to be a juror, dammit.

      $6 a day? Yikes! That seems like it would cause the opposite of impartial juries, doesn’t it? If people were there, but worried the whole time about not being able to pay their bills, I’d think they wouldn’t be thinking about what’s best for the defendant. I think we may have found out one of the things that’s wrong with the justice system.

      Like

  • Kelly Naylor

    I have been called for jury duty MANY (!!!!!) times, mostly when I was still living in Illinois. ONLY ONCE in the ten years I lived in Colorado, and a whole bunch of times here in New York. Only once did I ever get to actually be on a jury.

    OMG! IT’S THE BEST THING EVER!!! I am totally not kidding!! It was super excellent because it was a MURDER trial. Well, you’re right about it not being like television, because it was pretty tedious. There were a lot of commercial breaks. It would have made a 15 minute episode of Law & Order. Still. IT WAS THE BEST!

    Dear USDC NDoNY: PICK AMY!!

    Like

  • Storm

    Whenever I think of jury duty, I think of the 30 Rock episode when Jenna played the Rural Juror and nobody knew what she was saying because it is so hard to say.

    Like

  • grrgoyl

    Haha, my one experience sounds identical to yours. I also desperately wanted to be picked. The lawyers asked the first twelve a TON of questions, and I misunderstood and thought all fifty of us present had to go through this process and how long that was going to take, but obvs that’s not the case.

    My partner Tery got to serve on a drunk driving case once, and my very sensitive and squeamish friend almost had to serve on a torture murder case but got out of it on account of being so sensitive and squeamish.

    Good luck!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      TORTURE MURDER. Oh, how I dream of being a torture murder juror. It would be just as exciting as Law and Order or Criminal Minds. Only kind of distressing because the actor couldn’t get up and wash the red corn syrup off after the scene, I guess, so that’s why they would need THE WORLD’S BEST JUROR.

      I am crossing my fingers. Super-hard. So much finger-crossing.

      Like

  • emmawolf

    I want to be on a jury too! My aunt gets called maybe once a year because of the demographics of where she lives. I have to say, I’m a little jealous. I don’t know where it is where you are, but I think in some places they look for volunteers to serve on grand juries. According to Houston, Texas, “Grand jurors meet new and interesting people and often form lasting bonds with fellow grand jurors. We always receive letters from former grand jurors stating what a rewarding experience they had and how much they will miss their fellow grand jurors.”

    Have fun!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      OMG, I want to form lasting bonds! Although, don’t you find it a little funny that former grand jurors are writing letters to thank the grand jury for introducing them to their BFFs? And also a little sad?

      I want to form the Lucy’s Football jury. We would win all the jurying. ALL OF IT. I would always choose you guys, too.

      Like

  • Kate

    I’ve never been called to jury duty- knock on wood! I want to see the action, but I heard the waiting is painful.

    Like

  • jennabenda

    I am wishing you all of the lucks! I would love to be on a jury too. I sometimes have to go to criminal court for my work, but in my role I always end up feeling so powerless and frustrated, so I would take being a juror VERY SERIOUSLY. And be the best (in Canada) at it – no competition for you. I got called once but they filled the jury before getting anywhere near me and I would’ve been dismissed anyway. Ho hum. One day!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I love that you also think it would be the best! See, I knew you guys would understand. They should fill the jury with ALL OF US. How awesome would THAT be? And they should also sequester us, so we could party after-hours. BEST JURY EVER.

      Like

      • jennabenda

        I feel like we might also take too much deliberation due to dorking out over the process so much. But maybe then we could be a ragtag team for hire: “This group was the fairest and the unbiasedest – hire them for all your jury needs!”

        Oh wait.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          OMG, we totally would. No one would be paying attention to the case. They would be watching us be the most entertainingly excited in the jury box!

          JURY FOR HIRE! I like this plan very much. Even though it’s the most rigged.

          Like

  • Nagzilla

    So jealous! I’ve wanted to serve jury duty for years. The first time I was called, they sent me the letter two days before I was about to move out of state. I did get called again last year (only 12 years for me!) but it entailed calling in everyday to see if they needed me. All the cases settled out of court, so I never even got to go to the courthouse. *sad face*

    I hope you get selected. That would be awesome. And then I can live vicariously through you.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I would win jury duty. And my blogs would be AWESOME. Can you imagine the things I could write about? Excitement! Crime! Other people sitting way-too-close to me in a very small enclosure!

      I would not like to call in every day to see if they needed me, because if they didn’t, I would feel rejected. Every. Single. Day. Sigh.

      Like

  • Ashley Austrew

    I love this. I think you would make an awesome juror. Not just an awesome juror, but THE BEST juror. In all of MERKA!

    I did jury duty once for a drunk driving case. No one got hurt. He was just reported for reckless driving and then they realized he was wasted. The guy tried to say he was totally sober even though they had a video of him failing a sobriety test. And we got to watch it. It was awesome.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I would represent Merka in the best possible way. With way too much enthusiasm. And also possibly charts and/or graphs.

      I am TOTALLY envious of your jury dutying. I would have asked them to play the video over and over. Possibly in slow motion. And I would have nodded wisely, but inside I would have been laughing at ALL THAT AWESOMENESS.

      Like

  • Deena Siddle

    I do believe you are nuts. You want to do Jury duty? But I like it. I have enjoyed your blog.

    Like

  • sharpkitty

    They should read this blog and it’s comments if they want to find willing jurors. Seems like everybody wants a go. I am sure you’ll get your turn guys. Good luck!

    Like

  • Charleen

    I’ve never been called for jury duty. I’m sure you’re remembering back to November when I admitted that this was my first time voting (okay, you probably weren’t), but despite not feeling comfortable voting, I have been registered for years and years and years. Is that even where they pull jury duty from, if you’re registered to vote? Or is that just a myth?

    And when I think of you serving on a jury and trying to tell us about it in totally vague terms that wouldn’t get you in trouble, I keep thinking of Toby and the Scranton Strangler.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I do remember that! And I remember being so, so proud and happy you voted!

      I don’t know where they get jury duty info from. I’d assume either there, or tax info?

      Hee! The Scranton Strangler! I would probably very much be like that, and talk about it until you all wanted me to shut up. JUST LIKE TOBY!

      Like

      • Kelly Naylor

        NYS pulls from lists of registered voters, folks with drivers licenses or state IDs, income tax filers, folks who get unemployment or family assistance, and volunteers. I suppose most states are similar.

        Like

  • Nicola

    I got called for jury duty not last autumn but the autumn before, but I had to ring them up and ask for them to let me off because I was at uni in a different county and I didn’t want to have to take lots of time off from my course – but ever since I’ve kind of wished I’d done it, just for the experience. Good luck! *sending happy vibes re. Lucy’s Football to United States District Court*

    Like

  • Heather

    I’ve never been called for jury duty. I honestly don’t have any feelings about it one way or the other. I *do* think it would be cool, though, if the case were interesting. I would probably have a hard time being quiet, actually. I’d want to be the lawyer, and I’d have a hard time stage-whispering, “Ask him this…and this…and this!” Hahaha!

    Like

  • Samantha

    I’d love to be called for jury duty. I haven’t even been summoned to the courthouse yet, though. I had to get excused a bunch of times because I had no transportation to get the two hours there (while I was in college and summoned for my hometown).

    It’s funny because my mom gets a jury summons every year or so, and she doesn’t want it, and my dad NEVER gets them, and he wants it SO BAD. He actually served on grand jury for a year voluntarily because he really wanted jury duty. (He still doesn’t get jury duty). It’s odd how that works.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      You’d have to travel two hours to the courthouse? That’s insane! I didn’t realize that happened! Yikes! Mine’s only…20 minutes away? I think? Something like that.

      Why don’t any of the people who want jury duty get it? It seems rigged, somehow.

      Like

  • elaine4queen

    I have turned down jury duty.

    Because of all the ailments. Sitting all day would be bad news for me. I would be fine if they were equal opportunities enough about it to provide a chaise longue.

    Like

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