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|For you metric-inclined folks,|
that’s 2°F. About −17°C.
As if Planet Georgia having its first real winter in three years wasn’t enough, I got a jury summons right around Christmas time. That, of course, brought to mind the Jim Carrey version of the Grinch, when he was playing in the post office: “Jury duty! Jury duty! Pink slip! Blackmail! Eviction notice!” My mother in law was also summoned, but she died in May so they weren’t going to get her in there. The wife had the “privilege” of calling the clerk to tell them about it; she held up pretty well.
This is nowhere near the first time I’ve been on jury duty, but it’s the first time in a long time. But getting back to Winter #2, there was ice on the roads going into town. Which didn’t make sense at all, given that the low at FAR Manor was 37° last night, but this is Planet Georgia. The local police were stopping cars on a side road, warning them about the roads; the tow trucks parked along the side of the road suggested someone had already slid off into the woods.
I didn’t lose traction anywhere, but did keep the speed down. I dropped Mason off at his preK, grabbed some breakfast, then went back to the courthouse.
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Then, I was in on a selection for a DUI case. If you’ve never been lucky enough to get called to jury duty, they go through a process called voir dire (which is not French for “do you really belong here,” but that’s the upshot). That’s where the fun really began.
I do believe that the increasing Criminalization of Everything is starting to catch up to the “justice” system. About ⅓ of the potential jurors were getting struck (or “reserved”) for various reasons—one was going through his own DUI arrest, another had been stopped once on suspicion of DUI, others had different brushes with the law. Before we got halfway through the process, the judge sent those of us who had already been questioned downstairs. I’ve been on several trips through the jury mill, and I’ve never seen anything like this. Last time I was there, the lawyers would ask their questions, then the DA would strike or pass, and the defense attorney would do the same, until they had their jury.
While I’d raised my hand and answered several of the lawyers’ questions, I felt sure that I was going to get selected for that case… but it didn’t turn out that way. I continued to read +Brooke Johnson’s The Clockwork Giant on my Kindle, and waited for lunch. And waited… and waited… Finally, at 1p.m., I asked the clerk if we were going to get a lunch break. “The judge decides,” he said. Sure, judges are like minor deities in their courtrooms, but I’ve never had to wait until 2:15 for lunch during jury duty before. Finally, we got sent home for the day, with instructions to call in this evening to see if we have to come in tomorrow.
I hope not… Winter #2 is still in effect, and it’s supposed to sleet and/or snow in the morning, then snow all afternoon, and never get above freezing.
Stay tuned for more misadventures in jury duty! I’m live-tweeting stuff that doesn’t name any names on my Twitter account through the day. Look for the #juryduty hashtag. And if we get a real Snowpocalypse, I’ll be blogging that (if the power holds up).