The big-screen television in one room was
showing soap operas, in the other, headline news.
At precisely 8.30 we were addressed by a jury
shepherdess who is a cheerful daughter of Africa. She told us that the highlight
of our day was about to happen! She switched on a 10-minute video, which explained
to us how great our country is because we get to be tried by untrained people. A
robed judge sternly explained that we are tried by people like us.
my observation, that is exactly who we do not have on the juries. A case in
point: the profiling child-murderer George Zimmerman, whose jury was 6 women who
were judged qualified for his jury by legal professionals because they were
stupid and did not have opinions about anything.
When the video ended we were told to stay within
earshot because if we scarpered, we would be hauled up against a judge, fined
500 dollars, and made to serve 6 days jury duty. So suddenly jury duty becomes
a punishment? That is not in the constitution. Is jury duty used as punishment
for anything else upstanding citizens do? Gosh.
At noon, nothing had happened, not a single juror
had been called, so we were told to roam around the wilds of Camden for an hour
and get lunch. I walked past the boarded-up free public library, towards the
Quaker Monthly Meeting of which I am a member, and thought about the inefficiencies
and expense of hauling in 300 people to hang out in a dungeon for 4 hours.
is the murder capital of the United States; more humans are killed in Camden
per population than anywhere else. I guess the killers are not being caught. I
spoke with other jurors, they told me that they had been called for jury duty,
and as happened today, no-one was called to serve on a jury.
At 1pm we all reassembled, and at 2.30pm we were
told to leave, and told that we could wait breathlessly by our mailboxes for
our 5 dollar checks.
And I got back to reading about how Helen of Troy was so
desired by her husband King Menelaus that when she didn’t produce a son, he knocked
his heir out of a concubine.
So much for having the face that launched 1,000
ships. So much for jury duty. Welcome to the world, the new prince of England!