The “Write” to Judge

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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in possession of a jury summons must be in want of a way to get out of it.

Even though I’m busy working, moving, and my coworker had a doctor appointment, I could not get out of the interview. After three or more hours of selection, It turns out, even though they never got around to interviewing me, I would not have been a desirable juror for this particular trial because I am an insurance agent. Ideally, I’d make a great juror because of the same qualities that make me a good editor and writer. Jurors and editors both get paid to judge ($15 to breath courtroom air and keep the seat warm. Should I quit my job now or give them two weeks?). They both have to think critically, be detail-oriented, and objective. To be honest, being an agent would not have been a conflict of interest for me. If anything, I may have been able to provide an informed perspective.

I still don’t think I had the right to judge, however, because I couldn’t keep attention during the jury selection. How was I going to pay attention for the duration of a two-day trial. What was distracting me: my work? my move? my endless list of things to get done?. No, it was my writing. While others nodded off or read, or (more power to them) gave their full attention to the questioning lawyers, I imagined scenes in my head and fantasized about my characters. Had I been selected, there was no way I could have paid attention. How can I decide the fate of a real person when I’m so obsessed with the fates of my characters?

I’ve always been a heavy day-dreamer. When I was in first grade, I spaced out for an hour. When I returned to the real world, we had moved on from spelling to math. Needless to say, I was in big trouble. I also daydreamed during car rides when I was a kid, which might explain why I never know where I’m going now as an adult.

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the jury system. I don’t believe that people who frequent Wal-mart  or McDonalds have the qualifications or the schooling (dare I say intelligence) to make a good decision. Listening to the interview responses from my fellow citizens only solidified that I never want to commit a crime. One man actually said that no one should be able to sue for physical injury resulting from an auto accident because it is an accident, not an intentional act. To think that a bunch of toothless rednecks would have control over my fate is enough to keep me in line.

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