Only Wapner Can Judge Me
2004-11-30, 6:10 p.m.
(Otherwise known as "Jen Does Jury Duty, In The Actual Jury Room Today." Not postponed at all!)
Getting to jury duty was a royal PITA today, because the bus out of town didn't show up for 15 minutes. Which of course meant that we hit every stoplight out of town and the connecting bus had long since left when we got to the dropoff point. More than one person needed to go to the courthouse and was wigging out about this, but the driver said to stay on this line and he'd tell us where to get off to catch the bus we'd missed. This worked, fortunately, and I got to the courthouse on time.
Getting into the building this morning had a backup of people going through the detector. Watching this go on, I discovered that EVERYONE sets off the detector here, not just me. Well, one chick might not have, but she was hard to see. Everyone has to get hand scanned. What's the point of having the metal door then, eh?
Closing arguments were...a big fat fucking pain, really. I can summarize the prosecution's argument as, "Common sense tells you he did it. Who else could have?" Which privately I agreed with, but...there was the whole evidence thing. The defense, on the other hand...Ossie went on for-fucking-ever. He'd tell some stupid story or other about someone getting killed for a crime he didn't commit in a "mythical land", kind of wander back to the case and say again about that "second cousin" or "he's not in a gang now" (which there was NO PROOF OF, again), then go off about Plato for awhile (Judith: "Well, we know what he did all weekend. He was reading!"), then wander back to the case to emphasize that gang member doesn't automatically equal bad person, then wander off again... putting everybody to sleep. I tried to suppress my yawns (late night for me) with the prosecution, but I fricking gave up while Ossie was yaking. Yawn, yawn, yawn, eyes close, eyes close... He'd keep telling us to stick with him, and I kept thinking, "Yeah, because WE'RE TRAPPED while you YAK. GET TO THE POINT! And stop talking about that 'mythical land' shit while you're at it!" I wasn't exactly jumping up and down to give Ossie the win at this point.
He finally shut up at about 10:50, but we didn't get into the jury room until about 11:45- enough time for Judith to volunteer to be the foreman and us to decide to take a long lunch. During lunch, I found a cool toy store and bought stocking stuffers for the family. Since Mom went around buying everyone but Dad yo-yo's and shit for no particular reason when we were at Target, I figured I was entitled to buy a few weird gifts myself. So Mom's getting a kazoo for no good reason, and Dad's getting a sheriff's pin for no good reason, and Julian's getting a Spider-Man bubble blowing thingie (shaped like Spider-Man), and I got myself a sorta-Chia-Petty-water-it-and-it-blooms tree for the office and an "Old Maid" deck of cards, just because, well, I should have one. So, whee!
After lunch, we all hit the jury room again. Let me just say it's a great relief to finally be able to say stuff like, "Jesus, why didn't they freaking tell us why the car got searched in the first place!" and "There's no evidence!" and "What the hell is with the car seat?"
Yay the justice system. We finally told the bailiff we were done at 2:50, and they took a half hour to find the lawyers IN THE BUILDING and another fifteen to get back into the jury room. ("Where was he at, Sacramento?" Judith said.) Squinty read the verdict, and as usual, Owl had no reaction whatsoever to anything. Ossie said "On behalf of (Owl), we thank you." Gee, I feel so special.
Here's the weird thing: when we got out, who was waiting for us? Why, Eyebrows's supervisor! "Oh, it's his first felony case, and could ya give me a little insight as to why you voted the way you did?" Judith was happy to inform him that um, yeah, we had no evidence, and he was all, "Yeah, we had nothing." Even weirder during this was that Eyebrows and Ossie walked up during this, and I felt bad for Eyebrows not only being a newbie to all of this, but having his supervisor harassing the jury right in front of him and Ossie. But he was blasé about it- "Yeah, we had nothing."
Other Knitter offered to give me a ride home, I picked up my work here's-where-I-was-and-it's-all-the-government's-fault paper, and we went home, determined to go home and have a drink.
Which is what I'm doing now :)