Jury Duty, by Anonymous. (SL Medium): There is one other person in the room who doesn’t quite fit in, the Latino man who is the only other male juror of color. He sits and stares out the window. He doesn’t join in on small talk. “I haven’t been sleeping,” he says, when asked why he is so silent. “A man’s life is at stake.” I think of him as Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men. We will share this role.
"I just finished serving jury duty at the Van Nuys Superior Court. My case involved a man who was suing a stripper and strip club for a “fractured penis” injury he received while getting a nude lap dance. The stripper was from Sweden. The strip club owner was a retired porn star. There were many experts. Needless to say, this case was kind of awesome. As a member of the jury, I was given a pad and pen for note taking. The case lasted 7 days."
I think that the main reason for the practical intelligence and the political good sense of the Americans is their long experience with juries in civil cases. I do not know whether a jury is useful to the litigants, but I am sure it is very good for those who have to decide the case. I regard it as one of the most effective means of popular education at society’s disposal.Dissent offers commentaries on jury duty from Alexis de Toqueville, Joanne Barkan, Paul Berman, Susan Cheever, Nicolaus Mills, Maxine Phillips, Ruth Rosen, Jim Sleeper, Michael Walzer, and Darryl Lorrenzo Wellington. [more inside]
We all must do our civic duty. But how many of us can fill in President of the United States on the questionnaire when it asks for former jobs held? A bit of mirth for today. NY Times req. required.
Jury (Is it a Civic) Duty? It's Jury Duty time for the bloggers, as I, and several other bloggers have been summoned for service lately. Apparently, it's something you desperately want to do, or would give anything not to do... Have you ever served on a jury? Or better yet, did your excuse to get out of it work or not? Do you know what jury nullification means?... Here in Los Angeles they've been trying to improve the jury selection system with their "One Day, One Trial" program, but I doubt it will ever make everyone happy.