Jury Duty 2016, a Limited Series. Episode 2.


Ok. All of the Burbank jury pool contestants make it to Glendale.  We park in the structure (did I mention, this becomes as issue?) and walk the 4 blocks to the courthouse.  By the way, Glendale is lovely.  I even walk past the YMCA where Isabella does her flip-flop gymnastics stuff.

The bailiff calls us into the courtroom. We all stand up, raise our right hands, and solemnly swear.  The last time I did that, I ended up married.  I look around, no one is wearing white.  No one says “speak now or forever hold your peace.” Whew.

Wait, this is the Juror pool.  Back to the narrative (and I love my wife.):

The judge gives us a 20 second discourse on the trial.  A massage parlor.  Undercover police.  “Services” are offered, allegedly.

The trial will run 7 to 10 days.

Wait.  What?  7-10 days?  All of these people?  For this?  A Happy Ending?

But, the judge says kindly:  We won’t start until 1:30 each day.  Because, it is more convenient to mess up 7-10 days in the afternoon than to mess up half that time all day.  (Again, he didn’t actually say that, but he had very expressive eyebrows.)

Crap.  (Did I say Crap yet.  Probably.)

The judge reads the list of witnesses.  It has three names.  All police officers.  Who’s the victim of this crime?  No home owner’s association.  No pearl-clutching Church members. No human trafficking victim (a very, very important issue). No innocent bystanders.  Nothing.

The State, says the judge.

Judge:  Jury selection is often the most time consuming part of a trial.

Hence, 7-10 days.

They call the first 18 people to the jury selection box.  I’m number 15.  Voir Dire, (a French term meaning: tell us if you think the defendant is guilty so the liberal lawyers can object.)

They ask everyone a bunch of questions.  Turns out, my uncle worked in law enforcement for the county of Los Angeles as a Probation Officer.  The prosecutor seems pleased. I’m from a family of law enforcement.  (She also seems straight out of Central Casting: tall, pretty, thin, blonde.)

Then I open my big fat mouth:  Yeah, at family get-togethers tales were told, fables unfurled, bullshit was shared.  Cops and FBI agents.  Welcome to mi familia.  (Did I tell you about the time….)

I mention the “dark side” of police work.  Rules get bent, rights are questionable without a lawyer present.  You know, friendly, upbeat topics.

The prosecutor seems less enthused than I expected.  I thought I was cute and charming, what with my disarming demeanor and story of life as I know it.

Apparently, how the world sees me is different than how I see myself.  I am shocked.

The judge declares that today’s session is over.  Take your validated parking ticket to the structure and you’ll get away.  Oh, and come back tomorrow it 1:45.  Because we want to screw your whole day.

(I did mention this becomes an issue, right?)

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