Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Jury Duty part deux: Voir Dire

Voyeur dye-er. That's what the judge said. Is this Latin? It looks French, but boy would francophones be pissed if it were.

The process of selecting the jury in a minor case appears to be "throw some jurors on the wall and see if they stick." The judge starts by asking if any of us have friends in law enforcement and so on, which might lead us to pre-judge the case. Similarly, if we personally know any party to the trial which might interfere in our ability to be objective, they want us gone.

The judge was uninterested in letting anyone go because they had slight prejudices, if they said they could put aside their distaste of police, or their admiration for the officers in the town in which they work. But boy did the lawyers ever latch on to those jurors. You're outta here! I don't need no stinking excuse, get gone now. Thanks for your service.

A less scrupulous potential juror could probably just say "That guy looks guilty" or "All cops are bastards" and get out of service. Damn my need to be honest under oath. Hey, that makes me wonder - has Bill Clinton ever been on jury duty? Just a thought.
After dismissing only about three or four potential jurors, we had twelve jurors and one alternate.

And that was it for the day! Come back tomorrow, please.


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