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Friday, January 27, 2006

Comments

Colliculus

This is the problem in Baltimore: you have either been the victim of violent crime or committed one, either of which (in an ideal world) would exclude from the jury.

I must say I'm shocked they left you off. I tried to pull a similar thing and wound up being a jury alternate 6 weeks before my proposal defense. I was pissed.

seadragon

Well, they had pulled jurors 000-500 into the room, and even though there weren't a full 500 people in the room, there were lots and lots to choose from. They started calling up the lower numbers, asking "acceptable to the state? acceptable to the defense?" and going through them one by one. Eventually they filled the jury box and the two alternate seats without even getting to me. So I don't really know what would have happened if they got to my number.

I was called for jury duty over a year ago and ended up being an alternate on a case that ran in the afternoon. The thing is that they don't really tell you what an alternate is, so I sat there through the whole trial wondering what I was supposed to be doing. In the very end I found out that I got to do nothing, and couldn't even go deliberate with the jury. I guess I was there just in case someone got sick or something and had to leave.

Anyway, at least it was interesting to watch the case. The most surprising thing to me, for some reason, was how little the truth seemed to matter. It was all about which side was more persuasive. And yes, I know that's the way the game is played, but it just seemed sort of twisted to see it in real life. The second surprise to me was how badly argued the two sides were. Since they wouldn't let me go deliberate, I stayed in the courtroom when the jury left and one of the prosecuting lawyers started asking me what I thought. She was sure they had made the case, and I was wondering if she was still trying to convince me or whether she truly couldn't see that she hadn't made the case at all. Then again, maybe I just have a different standard what what constitutes a good argument. Anyway, the jury took all five minutes to deliberate and find the defendent not guilty, so I guess the jury agreed with me.

Malnurtured Snay

I had my first brush with the justice system myself the other day. It was kind of funny.

"...so how fast WERE you going?"

"Sixty."

"Sir, you just convicted yourself..."

And my personal favorite:

"...did you just plead 'yeah'?"

JtH

I held a barbie on Australia day. 20 or so people for lamb and backyard cricket. It celebrates the first fleet landing and setting up the colony in 1788. Those web sites you linked do make us look narcissistic don't they?

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