2012-06-07 / Lifestyles

Serving on Judy duty


Lois A. Corcoran Lois A. Corcoran It happens every two years like clockwork. This week, my Better Half received his biannual questionnaire for jury duty. Though he completed it, he dreaded the prospect of serving.

“Just know that I am a conservative, redneck, male chauvinist,” he wrote in answer to one question.

“Guilty as charged,” I said, “But you can’t write that on a court form.”

“I just did,” he replied as he dropped it in the mail.

When it comes to jury duty, I’m more like the student in class who finally knows an answer. I all but dance in my seat yelling “Pick me! Pick me!” But for reasons unknown, they never do.

I’d jump at the chance to see our justice system up close and personal. (Well, provided I’m not the defendant.) One could probably blame that on too much “Judge Judy” and my passion for true crime novels.

Readers know from the start who wronged who because it says so right on the cover. The real draw is seeing how the resident Perry Mason manages to prove it. That’s the part I want to observe but, clearly, I’m in the minority.

Some people object to jury duty on the grounds that they lose employment money. As a source of income, serving as a juror ranks right up there with returning the empties. Said a gal, “I’d hate to stand trial and have my fate in the hands of someone mad over missed wages.”

A disgruntled guy griped that the system controlled prospective jurors “like a flock of sheep.”

Still others grumble over the long wait. To pass the time, some bring their laptops or a book. One guy practiced tying a noose, and wondered why the court dismissed him.

On second thought, that may have been his goal. Some folks go to great lengths to get out of jury duty, from the clothes they wear (i.e., a Confederate flag T-shirt) to the excuses they make (“It’s against my religion.”).

They also insult those who don’t opt out of the process. I’ve heard more than one person say, “I’d hate to be judged by people too stupid to get out of jury duty.”

Strangely enough, some of these same wisecrackers are first in line to file a lawsuit. I’d even sit on a panel to hear THEIR case.

But I’ll settle for “Judy” Duty.

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