Auntie Ann Knits

Friday, March 23, 2007

Free tips on being a juror

1. Before you go, search your bags for those things you can't take on an airplane (although you don't have to worry about gels and such). I remembered not to bring scissors, but imagine how silly I felt having to check my knife (which is all of about 1-1/2" long) and return a couple of days later to retrieve it. Yes, I'm so-o dangerous and bad, I carry a knife.

2. Sad to say, after my experience I have to recommend that you leave your knitting at home. Bring books, magazines, iPod, snacks and water, but not your knitting. Say, maybe you can crochet in the jury assembly room! But do not read, crochet or listen to your iPod during court. It makes the judge cranky.

3. Do not bang your head on the desk, no matter how boring the proceedings become. Nor should you offer advice to the judge, counsel or witnesses on when they should just shut up. Perfect example of when to just shut up helpfully provided by defense counsel: "There is no evidence that my client did not pay his taxes." Why on earth did he want to get us thinking about the odds (slim to none, in my view) that his client did in fact pay his taxes?

4. You might as well go ahead and volunteer to be the foreperson if no one else does. The sooner you select someone and get on with deliberating, the sooner you will be done. And you get to get up and say, "Yes, Your Honor, we have reached a verdict." Eventually.

5. When you realize you are down to one holdout juror, do not say, "What in the world are you thinking?". Try, "Perhaps you'd like to share your thoughts on that with us."

6. When you are done, go home and celebrate the fact that you don't have to do this again for 12 whole months!!! I recommend red wine. But then, I always recommend red wine.

These tips have been provided to you free of charge as a public service announcement. You can thank me later.


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