Thursday, October 25

12 Angry people of ethnic diversity

I had jury duty earlier this week.

The county we live in has two courthouses, one literally next door to me, and the other one 15 miles away. I was sent to the further of the two.

Checking in the guy said, "Oh, you live next door to the courthouse in Cambridge." In an attempt to look and sound like a wise old juror I nodded and smiled in a concurring fashion.

What follows is a few hours of sitting on uncomfortable chairs with strangers and a video that reminds everyone what a wonderful idea it was by the English in 1215 to decide that the accused should be judged by 12 'people of the community'.

Looking around the room I saw about 5 people out of 130 that I would want to consider. I should be a judge.

Finally 94 of us were called for jury selection, or voir dire as I learned from watching Legally Blonde.

I was in the twenties and by the time I was called to the sidebar they had only chosen three jurors. Two angry disheveled men in their late 50's, and a young Minnie Riperton look-a-like – the ONLY person of color in the room of 94 possible jurors.

The judge asked me a few easy questions while the Prosecuting DA and Defense Attorney stared at me.

After a 30 second discussion out of ear shot I was called back to be told that one of the legal team had voted to not accept me (each side has 6 nixes).

With that, you exit the court, and in my case you go grab a burrito.

And for the rest of the day week you wonder if you look too right/left-wing, angry/passive, rich/poor, smart/dumb.

Yes. I hated being judged without explanation. Thanks legal system.

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