This is an illustrated experience.
I drew these while waiting to be summoned for jury duty at the unified court system jury room.
I’m terribly bored sitting here. This is day number two. Two.
A sign in the front of the room preaches that being on a jury is “the American way.”
So the ‘Murican way is miserable and annoyed? Mmkay.
I’m sitting here with absolutely nothing to do. In the jury pool. The day before a holiday weekend. NOTHING is going to be in session. No one wants anything pending on the day of a long break.
If you’re a Court Judge like me, honorable or whatever, you’re going to snooze that shit away until after the break, because I have a house in upstate New York that overlooks the water that I need to get to. I need to go to there and pour myself a glass of red wine, walk up to my study, and gaze at the dozens of law books on my shelves that I have never read.
All whilst wearing slippers and answering to no one. Because, I am a judge on Labor Day weekend.
So basically the consensus in the jury room is that we all know we’re getting. the fuck. out. But it is just a matter of when.
Also, how much time is wasted between now and then.
Here are three things you can do to improve the jury pool selection process. In no particular preference or order, the first thing you could do:
1) Jury Pool “Flight Attendants”/Have a Bar in the Room – Because if you’re on a case and you go out to get a drink who’s to know if you’re not a goddamn blabbermouth who won’t spill the details of the case to anyone, because that shit is illegal. If you get liquored up and can still hold your own then you can be trusted and you will be selected.
Alternatively you can get liquored up and become a complete racist. Or be sober and act like a complete racist. You won’t win any brownie points, but you sure as shit won’t make it through the screening.
If drinking is not your game, or all they have is Coor’s Light Summer
Breeze Brew there is always:
2) “Old Deposition” Mad Libs – Again, you’re not supposed to talk about the case, but what is the harm in enshrouding the details in a completely ludic and incredibly callous manner? It is a collaborative effort that allows for jury participation, builds trust among the potential jurors and helps to understand the quality of the people you’re going to be deliberating with.
You know what, I’m doing it. I’ll abridge the quote in the drawing later, but for now I’m stepping up to the front and trying this. Right…
“Ms. Alexander has been charged with 56 bajllion counts of aggravated hookers alleging that she Macarena’d her husband’s dinner.”
This was the best I could do with the people who replied. One guy just kept saying “balls” when I all I asked for was a singular noun. Singular, dude. Means “one.”
3) Law & Order Marathon – At least it will get us pumped for whatever case lies ahead. Will it be malpractice? Or assault? Or maybe the defendant threw his buddy out of a helicopter as a gag, but induced a heart attack. (I jumped to another series, but pfft)
Other runners up: 12 Angry Men, Primal Fear, My Cousin Vinny, or To Kill a Mockingbird, Runaway Jury.
At the very least, have all of the court clerks text tones be the L&O sound effect. You know the one:
In the end even if you can’t get any of those things it never hurts to just ask people about themselves. What their day is usually like and what they do — to have a conversation and just listen. You’d be surprised how a little pleasantness lifts the spirits around you.
Welcome to the Labor Day weekend.