Wednesday, December 10, 2008

OH, THE HUMANITY!: Courtroom Videos

To celebrate my current stint on a jury, I'll be posting some courtroom-themed videos here for your viewing pleasure. First up, everyone's favorite defendant, El DeBarge:

At number two in the courtroom countdown, we've got Rod Stewart and his all-female jury:

Yesterday was a milieu of miscommunication with the bailiff. Immediately upon arrival yesterday morning, I asked him before I went into the jury room about getting a copy of my summons for my employer. He put his hands over his ears and said I couldn't ask him anything. He said I had to ask the judge. So I said "When do I ask the judge? During the trial?" and he said "No, right now." And I said "Ok, where is the judge so I can speak to him?" And he pointed into the jury room and said "In there."

I walked in, and the judge wasn't in the jury room. The bailiff totally lied to me to get me to shut up and go into the jury room. Charming!

Later, the bailiff came back in the jury room and threw a pad of paper and a pen down on the table, and announced to everyone "If any of you have a question about anything, you need to ask it to the judge." Then he just stood there.

I stood up and said " we write our questions down on this pad of paper and give them to you to give to the judge?"

And he said "Oh. Yeah."

"Thanks for clearing that up for us," I said. He didn't laugh, but several jurors did.

So I wrote out my question on a piece of paper, and gave it to the bailiff the next time he came in the room. He left and I didn't hear anything more about it for the rest of the morning. When lunchtime came around, the judge announced that our lunches were there, so we could either eat them in the jury room, eat them out in the hallway, or not eat them at all and go outside and buy our own lunch.

We went into the jury room to get our lunch. There were no lunches in the room. The bailiff walked in, closed the door, and said "Your lunches haven't shown up yet, I wasn't able to tell the judge before he announced they were here. So please just be patient and they'll be here soon." A group of us walked out into the hallway. I called Anonymous A and talked to her for quite awhile, then went to the restroom.

When I came out, I saw everyone had gotten their lunches. So I walked back into the jury room to get mine, only to find that there was no vegetarian sandwich like I'd ordered. So I had to go out and get my own lunch.

When I came back, I found out from the juror who passed out everyone's lunches that there wasn't a vegetarian sandwich in the shipment at all, so it wasn't a case of someone else taking my lunch. He told me I should mention it to the bailiff so that it didn't happen again the next day. So I did. And the bailiff insisted on getting me another lunch immediately. I told him not to, that I'd already eaten and didn't need another lunch. He said "We promised you a lunch, so you're getting a lunch!" and then delayed the re-start of the trial until they delivered me a new lunch, which he handed to me in the jury room (that has no refrigerator). I said to him, "Awesome! Thanks for the botulism!" He made no reply, and instead immediately asked us to re-enter the courtroom.

When we got to go back into the jury room for a break, the bailiff asked me (in front of everyone, of course) how my "veggie sandwich" was. One of the other jurors said "What, did you think he ate it out in the jury box?"

The bailiff continued to mention my veggie lunch in front of the whole jury for the rest of the day. He always made sure to refer to it as a "veggie lunch", of course, for maximum "Look at the weird vegetarian guy!" effect. At the end of the day when he escorted us to the elevator, he yelled down the hallway to me that he "wants a report on how my veggie sandwich was" tomorrow. I was forced to take it with me when we left. One of the other jurors asked me how well veggie sandwiches microwave. "Oh, probably really well after they've been sitting out at room temperature for several hours," I replied.

I threw it out when I got home.


Blogger Crispinus said...

This is one of the benefits of having a child. Never has "I have primary care of a young child" failed to get me out of jury duty. (Of course, now that she's a teenager, I need a new excuse, and I don't think "I have primary care of a young cat" is going to work.)

In my last brush with jury duty, in Jan. of 2001 or so, I showed up at the courthouse and asked the bailiff who to talk to about the child care issue. She said I needed to ask the judge. So when I asked the judge about two hours later, she got peeved and said I should have been excused about two hours earlier.

5:03 AM  

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