Some People Are Stupid As Shit

On Jury Duty: Point one: Some people are stupid as shit

After shot. Sorry. I only have on a bra in the before shot. Ill text it to interested parties with no embarrassment whatsoever, but I do not believe it needs blogging.

After shot. Sorry. I only have on a bra in the before shot. Ill text it to interested parties with no embarrassment whatsoever, but I do not believe it needs blogging.

In thirty seven years, I’ve never been summoned for jury duty. My number was due to come up, and it did, in the federal system. I knew dates when I scheduled my breast reduction surgery, and the doctor’s office thought I’d be fine to go sit around in a courtroom five days after having my chest sliced to ribbons. (They were right – breast tissue hasn’t got many nerve endings, so I don’t have much pain.) I was not ultimately assigned to a panel, and I don’t have to go back, so it wound up being a short term gig for me.

I rarely snark here, but there are times, and this is one of them, that only a snide and cynical perspective will do. The next few days will include observations from my day of civic duty. None of them will be polite. Let us begin.

Some people are stupid as shit, and I would not want them judging me. (You’ll find this thread woven into the fabric of this series.) Summoned jurors get instructions about how to report, when to report, where to report, what to wear, where to park, and the things forbidden in a courthouse. Also, they complete and return a million page questionnaire.

The Hunger Games wasn’t more clear about the selection process. Prospective jurors will know if they need to even show up as long as they call a certain robo-phone at a certain time.

And yet.

No fewer than three people (of a fifty member panel) arrived unnecessarily. Listen, I called that number. It had an ID for me. It updated me every time. If these people had read the giant 30 point font explanation and followed its simple guidelines, they would have saved themselves a wasted day.

Deferrals aren’t a big deal, yet people fail to request them in advance. For Christ’s sake, my initial date was supposed to be during the time when I’d be in Chicago. I requested a postponement, and it was granted. Permanent postponement was also possible for some. Nobody over seventy even had to write a letter. Service was wholly optional. Tick a box. Boom. Done.

And yet people showed up who would clearly have been released beforehand. If they did this knowing they could, by appearing and making their excuses in person, actually fulfill their duty for three years, I’d understand. But I don’t think so. They were so dumb they hadn’t done the homework.

Here’s an example. One guy over seventy with a horrible back, a weak bladder, and possible dementia (I kid you not) came in. At least three of those qualifications would have been a permanent deferral. He could have completed the process in the mail. But he didn’t bother to read. Nor did his probable caretaker.

Another? Get this.

The jury selection process is basically a period of time during which people answer a shit-ton of questions that they have already responded to on the million page questionnaire. Some of these questions meant people were excused automatically.  If you have, say, been convicted of or are charged with a felony and not had your civil rights restored, you are not eligible for jury duty, and the questionnaire clearly says so and instructs you how to communicate this in advance and save yourself a fucking hassle. One guy on our panel got to leave three minutes into the questioning because he had not, in spite of completing the form, paid attention to this detail.

Going forward, keep this in mind. Some of my fellow humans are not jury material. I would plea bargain my ass off and beg for a judge-only trial before I faced a group of my peers.

Stay tuned tomorrow to find out why I’m skeptical of the process itself.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Some People Are Stupid As Shit — 10 Comments

  1. Amen, amen, Ay-freaking-MEN. I’ve been on jury duty, and what I can say is this: There are on juries people who aren’t capable of determining whether fruit is ripe, let alone making decisions that will affect the lives of other people. And yeah, I’m gonna say it: in your part of the world, there are very few picks of the litter. What has kept me somewhat sane has been the presence of enough people capable of critical (as opposed to emotional, reality-TV) thinking to keep things sane. Be that sane person; justice and the people coming into that courtroom need you. And by the way: Nice ta-tas!

  2. Thank you for the compliment. I’ve been embarrassing the hell out of people by showing them off this week! The idiocy gets worse as the series wears on. Jury trials need serious re-thinking. They are designed to give defendants fairness and justice. They’re supposed to be a balance to the system, so that individuals don’t get lost under red tape. But the opposite is true so often. In many ways, I think a jury trial may INcrease the red tape as the system is currently structured. Am I opposed to a jury system? No. But it needs repair badly, and I don’t see it coming soon.

  3. OMG Hubs and myself have BOTH been called up. I go in October, he in November. I just have to say, a very large percentage of the data on the million page questionnaire are things they could look up and find in 2 seconds. I can’t wait till my report date… *eyeroll* I have the distinct feeling the lovely folks in my town will resemble those in yours.

    You look marvelous! 😀

    • Scott would have gone in May, but the trial got cancelled. Makes me want to cry “bogus” on the whole “random choice” thing too. He’s been called, like eleven times in the fifteen years we’ve been together, been deferred once, and been not selected another time, and had the other nine trials get cancelled before he’d have had to report. (Also. An aside. The deferral. In Lexington, at the county level, he requested an extension for the service scheduled when Caroline was five weeks old. OK, a Mom would have been deferred without question. But he was a Dad, and the request was denied. He seriously had to carry in a picture of the newborn, her birth certificate, and a letter from me stating my schedule at B–W–youknowwho to demonstrate that he was her sole weekday caregiver. I was still on maternity leave but scheduled to go back halfway through the service.)

      I’ve been called once. And it came within months of him being called the most recent time. You guys got summonses right there together. I think they need better random numbering software.

  4. I did have to serve on a federal jury. I concur some people are stupid. The trial lasted two weeks, and we took less than two hours to reach a verdict – guilty. We probably could have come to that some conclusion in two days. The defendant was one of those “Stupid as Shit” people.
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