Thursday, May 26, 2011

Here's a story within a story that doesn't at all involve my kids!

I mentioned the jury duty service thing that I had the other day a couple things to note. First they made a big production of the fact that you are doing your civil service and we shouldn't call it jury duty. It was quite humorous, judges, clerks all called it jury service as jury duty had gone through a PR campaign and the powers that be had decided that changing the name was going to make it more appealing to North Carolinians. HA!
Ok, so that totally wasn't the point of the story, more a digression. Have I mentioned I have signed up for a half marathon? No, well I have, my training partner and I are going to run 13.1 miles in Oct! She is very confident that we will make it, I am trying to figure out if she is going to notice if I walk the whole time. But, we've made it to 30 minutes of running which is more than I have ever done in my life and if I could just run somewhere with no humidity I think I could run for hours.
But, I digress again, so back to jury duty service. I immediately get selected to be in the jury pool for a trial. So we proceed to the courtroom where we get the spiel from the judge and he has the court clerk call out 12 people to sit in the jury box. So far so good, I'm not called! The judge asks the 12 to tell a little background information: married/single, employment, spouse employment, where in the county you live, etc. Everyone goes through there info and we get to juror number 7 and he gives us his neighborhood. Right then I think that is odd, is the judge from Wake County supposed to know where that is? I certainly have never heard of this "transitional neighborhood" before. The judge turns the questioning over to the ADA and she starts asking a bunch of questions, at first the questions are routine, do you know anyone here in the courtroom, any of the witnesses, etc. But then they have to get into the more personal stuff, will you be able to be unbiased? Through this process people answer questions and a couple get removed for "cause". Whatever but juror number 7 must realize he is going to be on this jury and he's got to put the heat on, because he doesn't want to be here, so whenever he feels that it is appropriate he talks about his "transitional neighborhood" and maybe he feels like the victim looks familiar, but he isn't sure and if this crime happened in his neighborhood he would have to side with the defendant. The ADA asks him if he knows where the address the crime took place is at and he says no, but if it was in his neighborhood...blah, blah blah. He was like broken record and I kind of wanted to stand up and yell, "we understand you don't want to be on the jury, tell them you can't be biased" At this point we had been sitting in the courtroom for an hour or so, I was done! The ADA finishes up, he spews his crap at least one more time and she kicks off a juror and then has to start again. But is satisfied so the defense attorney starts his spiel, which actually was humorous. He started out saying who he was and if the selected jurors had ever heard of him, or his law partner, or seen advertisements for his business, in case someone had a bad opinion of him or his practice/who he represented. The whole way it played out was funny, because it seemed so cocky, and like he was shocked no one had heard of him. So he gets to juror number 7 and says "it sounds to me like you really would like to serve on this jury, but you feel like you can't be unbiased", all polite and political like. And the guy starts again, well you know if this happened in my neighborhood...blah, blah, blah. It kind of went around and around for a couple minutes, which was funny and then the defense attorney finally got him dismissed and put us out of our misery. Thank goodness!
What strikes me as funny is I couldn't remember the name of the neighborhood, he said it like 5 times, so you'd think I would remember, but I didn't. Today I was trying to look up the course elevation profile to send to a friend complaining about the elevations of a 10 miler she was thinking of running (which is 3.1 miles less than what I signed up for, and she's a runner!) I found the course map; low and behold I get to run very near that damn transitional neighborhood, "Walltown"! Lucky me, I guess now I know where it is and I'll be able to talk about its transitionalness. Lucky me!

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