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And we’re back.  The apartment is stiflingly hot, the cats have established Squatter’s Rights to our bed, and I found a Jury Summons awaiting me in the mailbox.

Normal tomfoolery will resume tomorrow.

24 Responses to “Long Day’s Journey into Hollywood”

I found a Jury Summons awaiting me in the mailbox

Personally, I never miss a chance to serve jury duty. I always figure I might be some poor bastard’s only chance to avoid being railroaded.

Are you a script writer? It sounds so fun. I always wanted to be a department-store window designer. Or a physicist.

Jury duty? Use the George Carlin trick: Stand up and tell the judge you’d be perfect for jury duty. You can spot a guilty person like THAT.

I’m with Realist on this one, though I’m often excluded on the basis of my mental disorders and what we’ll call my adventurous youth. (The curse of being reasonably honest.)

A few years ago, I found myself with a summons every January, for several years running. I had to postpone one year due to scheduled surgery, and haven’t been called back since. I find myself wondering if there was some sort of weird bug in their computers and I reset it somehow by serving in June rather than February.

I didn’t mind, on the whole, since I’d rather not spend a lot of time at bus stops in freezing weather. Hopefully if they start again it’ll be in June.

You could just dress up like Princess Leia.

My advice is to feign narcolepsy if you don’t wish to be empaneled. You won’t be asked back, either.

Maybe I’ve watched too many showings of “Twelve Angry Men”, but I always figure that, much as I’d like to pull off some ruse to get out of it, if I don’t go the field is left open to knee-jerk reactionaries and nut-jobs.

Alison, I thought the same thing, but after going through a trial that could’ve sent what I believed an innocent man to prison for 20+ years was done (I was an alternate), it turned out the jurors saw everything I saw and found the defendant not guilty.

Of course, I don’t live in Texas, so YMMV.

Normal tomfoolery will resume tomorrow.

Tom’s being released on his own recognizance?

You could just dress up like Princess Leia.

But not Chewbacca. I’m still doing that community service gig.

One of the folks I know suggests a great way to get off jury duty, should you want to. Preface the answer to all questions with “According to the prophecy…” I’ll bet it would work a treat, except maybe down here in loony land.

Another way to usually get out is to tell them you’re a member of the Fully Informed Jury Association. At least it will irk many of the judges and prosecutors in my state.

Of course, if you really want to be a good citizen, you wouldn’t tell them up front you were a member.

You could just dress up like Princess Leia.

It wasn’t Barbara Adams’ Starfleet uniform that finally got her removed (she was an alternate) from the “whitewater” jury in 1996, it was the fact that she chatted to reporters and well, it was already enough of a circus.

Not sure how she managed to slip past metal detectors with a phaser, but well, Arkansas.

I’ve never missed a jury duty summons, and it was only last Christmas holiday that I finally made it all the way to a trial, and was selected as foreman to boot, whereby I immediately made all the jurors wear silly hats, just to show ‘em who’s boss.

Nothing exciting, a DUI in which the kid charged decided to roll the dice and go to court with a PD and hope for the best, nearly beat the rap– we were split on his guilt at first but those of us voting guilty in the first couple straw polls argued persuasively to those voting otherwise, and he eventually was found guilty on both counts by unanimous decision.

A fascinating experience actually, and here’s a couple ways prospective jurors earned dismissal: one had a pretty convincing wingnut meltdown in Voir Dire, and another, a USC student and athlete, simply told the court, “I have a big game coming up next week and Caoch says I gotta practice.”

Yes, the Trojans; the Rose Bowl.

Does anybody else remember an animated series from the ’70’s called “Tom Foolery”?

Yes, the Trojans; the Rose Bowl.

Ahh. Guess that decision didn’t take too long for the judge to make.

Thanks for the link, arghous.

I don’t remember that show, Bill, but I do still miss the comic strip, “Born Loser.” Always wondered what became of it… Until the onset of “Bloom County,” it was one of the very few ‘honest’ comic strips out there, though, sadly, it never got “political.”

“Doonesbury” could be ‘honest,’ but, sadly, it isn’t.

Anyway, after 20 years on the voting rolls, I *finally* got a summons for jury duty in federal district court this year, and was “on call” for two weeks.

And they never let me come in. Fuckers.

Not that I would’ve enjoyed the commute to Baton Rouge, by any stretch of the imagination, especially since it was before we fixed that herniated disk in my neck, but dammit, I WANTED MY CHANCE TO SERVE.

People who don’t register to vote, SOLELY TO AVOID JURY DUTY, are people that I generally kick in the jujubes. If you don’t vote, you can’t bitch. And if you don’t do your jury duty, then when it’s YOUR turn to go to court, you deserve to get screwed by the dumbest cocksuckers on the planet.

Personally, I wish that I’d gotten to serve on the Derrick Todd Lee jury, but ohhhh, no. Didn’t even get selected for those genocidal crackers from the St. Rita “Nursing Home” (OF DEATH!!!) murders during Katrina. The SOLE reason that they moved that trial up here was SO THAT THEY COULD GET AN 85-90% WHITE JURY, and whattayaknow, THE FUCKERS GOT AWAY WITH IT. I still can’t figure how Anna Pou got away with the murders that SHE committed, OR how she got to keep her fucking license. If you kill poor and/or black people, apparently, it’s a free pass! Where the fuck was Al Sharpton for THOSE?!?!?!?

And fuck yes, I’d give a tit to be on the jury for the Jena 6 trial, to see if ANY truth gets told by the prosecutors, or if it’s a straight-klan mentality.

But for some reason, I *never* get called for local, parish or state juries. It’s almost like I was a state employee and they all knew me or something, and we all know that I COULDN’T GET A STATE GIG, IN LOUISIANA, so that can’t be it. They must be following my blog comments.

I dunno, if I actually got called-up, if they’d actually put me ONTO the jury, me being me and all, but dammit, I ought to get the chance to TRY. With my luck, it’d be either something that would give me flashbacks (and then I’d wind-up OFF the jury and INTO the dock) or something to bore me titless. But OH, if I could get in on a corporate-thieving (if any of the fuckers ever actually get CHARGED, they’ve all already BEEN CAUGHT, but somehow, prosecution never comes into it…), public corruption or political-clusterfuck/usurping-the-Constitution-every-which-way-but-loose case! I’d be the happiest juror they ever saw…

…which would prolly get me thrown outta the box.

OH! Another chemical-senility moment:

SCOTT: Is there a statute of limitations or a confidentiality clause upon being a juror in L.A., that you can’t use anything portrayed in the course of the trial in a future screenplay? (Hey, always mining for ideas, man, even if I am the least-productive writer on the fucking planet…) Would you have to wait a certain number of years, or be prohibited from even vaguely characterizing the trial or the subjects, without having to get their permission or anything?

I know that serial-killers, etc., can’t write books about their crimes, thereby exploiting their victims & getting rich whilst in stir; but that doesn’t apply to jurors who put them INTO the can, does it?

Just trying to put a semi-positive/productive spin on it, in case you gotta stay. They don’t let you take notes in court, do they? How about a digital sound recorder? Or would that constitute contempt of court or fiddling with the jury pool?

No, I honestly never HAVE served upon a jury, nor have I ever seen a portrayal of a jury on television or film that I believed IN THE LEAST. Here’s hoping that YOU can be the guy to finally write THE ONE THAT WORKS. After all, even whilst pushing towards deadline, you can always set something else to cooking on the back burner, until it’s thoroughly done and comes up to the front. My problem is that I usually forget that I even HAD anything on the back burner, and they get burnt to cinders/pure carbon, with no retrievable DNA left.

Hope that it’s something interesting, though hopefully not too horrible/gruesome. I’ve been shown crime-scene photos of a dead friend (NOT voluntarily!!!), and nobody should see that. That ain’t CGI or Rick Baker’s handiwork, y’know? That’s real people, formerly known as real LIVE people, now real, really DEAD people. And they don’t look ANYTHING like CSI or BONES or even The X-Files. They look like real people. And it stays with you.

Because they WERE real people, and the jury’s the only thing keeping them from being erased without so much as even an attempt at that mythological creature that we call “justice” but VERY rarely ever see.

As a one-time writer who’s only written one script, I’ll tell you why after sitting in a long trial you never see a realistic portrayal of typical jury trials. IT’S BORING! Neither prosecution or defense is as theatrical as on film or TV, the jury is usually a motley crew of middle-class “what the hell am I doing here?” types who have to take notes of the trial, so there’s no drama to be had there. I mean, I liked 12 Angry Men, but after actually sitting through a trial I knew exactly what it was. Dramaturgy.

One thing I know is that on a long trial, there is discussion of the case by the jurors outside the courtroom - which is verboten. It’s almost impossible to get them to shut up if the trial takes over a week or two, let alone two months. I myself got in trouble for making an innocuous joke to another juror about how I could never say that I hadn’t seen gay or kiddie porn now, since they were part of the trial. I didn’t get excused, but my getting in trouble enraged me compared to those chatterboxes, so I wrote a long, delicately worded threat to the judge that said I knew of four sitting jurors that openly discussed the case both while at lunch and going home, and that I’d prefer to be excused from the sordid mess. I got excused.

As a one-time writer who’s only written one script, I’ll tell you why after sitting in a long trial you never see a realistic portrayal of typical jury trials. IT’S BORING!

Keep in mind these juries are made up of people too dumb to duck jury duty ;-)

I now have a lifetime excuse from jury duty, so I’ll never be called again. Oh, and in our state it isn’t voter registration that determines who can be called for jury duty, it’s DMV records. A lot harder to get out of it that way.

Still waiting for Tomfoolery’s resume. My traveling satirical theater is hiring.

Apropos of nothing here-just a random thought that popped into my head:
Doesn’t Orly Taitz kinda look like a Muppet, or a character Andrea Martin could have played on SCTV?

Annti sez: People who don’t register to vote, SOLELY TO AVOID JURY DUTY, are people that I generally kick in the jujubes.

Don’t let this stop the kicking - either just on principle or for the shits and giggles, whichever moves you - but hasn’t the sort of person who won’t register to vote for that reason demonstrated possession of an intellect you really don’t want to see on a jury?

Them’s the breaks, kid. When they said, “jury of your PEERS,” they didn’t mean intellectual, cultural, sophistication or grokking “equals.” They just meant basically-bipedal (legal) “adults” who show up for jury duty.

It’d be nice if we could enforce IQ tests for a lot of privileges that are often abused in this country, like BREEDING (in- or over-), voting, running for office, etc., as well as stringent psych profiles, but I don’t think that we can yet trust any gubmint entity not to fuck that up. Or to revert to Jim Crow-style “rules” for who can vote, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of teh mow-rahns of teh reich wing or just the flat-out apathetic, lazy fucks who don’t vote or even NOTICE what’s going on in our government, but those assholes have the same rights and responsibilities (as if they live UP to them!) as we do. Sad, but true.

Besides, if ALL of the votes are counted PROPERLY, the smarter people almost always win (if the Supreme Court doesn’t cock it up). As to jury foremen, well, no guarantees there. Just do your damnedest not to wind-up on the wrong side of the jury box, I guess. Or at least, get a good alibi.

Something to say?