Friday, May 4, 2018

I Was Just Confused

Still Confused after All These Yeas
We are both over 75 or whatever that age is when you are automatically excused from Jury Duty. We take advantage of that age thing. It is only right that having lived a long time should have it's privileges...right? Then why do I feel guilty about not doing my "civic duty".

Meryl Baer over at Six Decades and Counting wrote a piece about doing her "duty" and what it takes to get out of or get into that pool of people that are called. She was called to serve on Grand Jury in her state and is now in a pool of about 100 people waiting to "do her duty".

The truth of the matter, I have never had to sit on a jury for over 40 years. But I still remember the one time experience. It was not good.

See I had always wanted to be more liberal than I am (as thought that is possible.) But when it came to imposing justice it turned out I was not liberal or conservative...I was just confused.

The man we were sitting in justice of was accused of a DUI. He admitted drinking during the day and at dinner but claimed to have "sobered up" enough to be a safe driver.

The policeman testified that he stopped the drunk man on the road and when he ask the man to step out of the car the suspected-drunk-man stepped in a puddle of water. That was the basis for judgment as to man's sobriety. There was no Breathalyzer tests back in those days.

I could not get it through my head. Was that man drunk? Well of course he was. I heard how much he had drunk. The thing that confused me was whether I should judge him drunk based on whether he had "stepped in a puddle" or how much alcohol he had consumed? Stepping in a puddle did not do it for me! I did not drink at all back then so I couldn't decided based on personal experience.

I honestly do not remember how the whole thing turned out. But the thing that hit me when I read Meryl's story was that the job still pays $5 a day. Honestly, the things we will do for the satisfaction of being a good citizen and bragging rights with a bonus of $5 a day!

Even today I would find it hard to judge whether someone was guilty or innocent...judging is something I am not good at. It just confuses me.

Have a wonderful day.



  1. I didn't know that there was a cutoff date for jury duty. I was on a three-day-long trial jury once, long ago. I remember it well and was happy with the outcome, but we did have one holdout that we needed to see the light first. I could never be on a jury for a DUI, since in my mind he or she was already guilty before I heard any arguments at all. :-)

    1. Maybe I made that up? No, I am sure you do not have to serve on a jury or take of your shoes off in the airport after 75!

  2. I served on a Grand Jury once, about ten years ago, and from my perspective it was a complete waste of time -- altho' I'm guessing there's a legitimate purpose for it in the legal system. Far be it from me to understand our overly complicated judicial system that seems to cater to the rich and the poor, but not to the middle class.

    1. I did not know that Tom. I will need to do some looking around in the Grand Jury section of the internet. Interesting.

  3. I was called, but not chosen. I had my six children at the time and was fostering two others. The case was a man accused of molesting his two foster daughters. I told the judge my personal situation and that I couldn't be impartial. The judge told me, "Impartiality aside, you've got your hands full. Go home!"
    And that was the end of what could have been a promising career sitting and looking intelligent and thoughtful.

    1. And passing judgement. You really have to wonder why a guilty man would want to go to trial don't you? That would bias me right from the beginning. And on the other hand what made someone accuse this person of molestation...maybe the accuser or the accused don't understand what "molestation" is.


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