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Friday, November 14, 2014

I, The Juror

I am stunned and somewhat ashamed to be sitting in the Superior Court of California County of Orange juror selection room listening to all the bitching and kvetching and bellyaching going on.

Honest to God...

For chrissake people, aren't we all the exact same folks that made the most of our day off when we all "celebrated" Veteran's Day? Did we all not just hang our flags and beat our chests and tell each other what awesome patriots we are? And did we all not just hug a veteran or feed a veteran or throw some change at a veteran at a freeway on-ramp or pump a veteran's hand and slap him (or her) on the back and tell him (or her), "Helluva job you did there, son (little girl); helluva a job. So, proud to call myself an American, and so proud to say thank you for your service and your sacrifice." That last part embarrasses me to no end today.

If that was you yesterday and you are sitting with me in the juror selection room today, I wanna punch you in the throat right now. How dare you be so selfish; how dare you be so cowardly. How dare you believe that your time is worth more than someone else's freedom. After all, if you are eligible to be seated as a juror, you are part of that small segment of society for which jail and prison still operates as a deterrent and you should be pretty grateful for this opportunity to make sure that this one system we got going on IS actually working!

And lemmetellyou, most of you are acting like assholes. Near as I can see, you are working one of two angles: 1) The language angle; 2) You are biased against/for the police, the plaintiff, the defendant; pink hearts; yellow moons; orange stars or green clover and whatfuckingeverelse you can dream up as you describe in a manner, that you cannot even convince yourself is true, that you just cannot see yourself being able to see past your somewhat proudly proclaimed biases to ascertain the facts from your own ass when the evidence is presented, AND then you bold-faced lied and told the judge that you could not even do that when instructed by the judge about the actual law!!!
Unfuckingbelievable. Honestly, I cannot tell if you are stupid or liars or you are just stupid fucking liars.

And please 'splain to me, Ms. Juror 110, how you took your citizenship test and oath and the written driving test all in English AND received and answered your jury summons managing to both drive and arrive at the jury assembly room only to find yourself seated next to me making English small talk about how nice my cat-eye eyeliner and your chola-esque eyebrows look this early in the morning and listening to the same jury instructions, yet, lo-and-behold when it comes time for voir dire, "you no do English goodly" riddlemefuckingthat.

I am also pretty upset at that small specific portion of my fellow cast of characters called to report to Section C68 on the eleventh floor to help figure out if Mr. Patron had too much to drink one particular night when he got in his car and started driving and then a whole bunch of shit must have gone down because it ultimately resulted in me waiting on your disrespectful ass to get off of the escalator or elevator or the phone late each and every single goddamn time we had to arrive for roll-call because the rules say we all have to shuffle-move as one great big 300-styled-ready-for-battle-tortoise-shell-shaped mass from the jury room to the courtroom to the bathroom and back, again.

Disrespectful; disingenuous; deceitful and duplicitous. And almost all of you smelled. Disgusting. I am so mad and upset and disappointed. You all ruined my day. You all conspired to take something that is a privilege and something we should all be so proud to do with a pure and engaging heart--to listen completely and openly; to follow directions. I was sad to be unable to serve. I would have made the sacrifice; I would have lost a butt-load of money NOT availing myself of my own work, but I would have sacrificed to be of service.

Oh, and I am a good juror.

I don't mean to brag and I don't mean to boast, but you really want me on your trial; your attorney wants me on your trail! I listen and I think and I am discerning and open-minded, but not so open-minded that things like my common sense fall out. And, to be honest, I am easy on the eyes and if you are going to have to look at someone for a month, well, I think that would be an added luxury--definitely not a requisite, but a nice little frill. I know I want to look at a couple of sharp attorneys in pretty clothes speaking properly while duking it out. Like I said, it does not make a real difference but its an added treat. If you are a shitty lawyer with a crappy case and client, no matter how impeccably appointed you may be, it will not make a difference.

I have had the privilege of being seated as a juror twice, both criminal trials; both grueling; both were about a month long. The first trial was a gang murder in which one gang member put the business end of a less-than-18-inch sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip to some poor bastards head when he mistakenly wandered into West Trece territory and did not answer properly to the question, "Where you from?" Ka-Boom! The top of his head got blown off and all over his buddy riding, ironically enough, shotgun and the velvet headliner of his low-rider whip.

The second trial was a child molestation case where I was seated as juror No. 1 at approximately 8:30am on day No. 1, and I did not move for nearly three weeks as I endured the then 6-year-old victim take the witness stand against her "tio". See, Tio was found by the young girl's mother spooning her sleeping 5-year-old daughter with her panties inside-out and his pants undone, and somehow some of his semen mysteriously made its way to her prepubescent vulva. Yeah. Picture that in your mind's eye because it is emblazoned into mine. I cannot imagine how the assistant district attorneys sleep at night nor how the defendant sleeps at night, well, actually, we found him guilty so I am pretty sure I know how he sleeps at night, or at the very least, how he lays there very still with his eyes wide open and his back pressed against the wall just like that petrified little girl must have on a lot of nights.

That was intense and important stuff people.

Watching that little girl bravely facing her perpetrator and providing her own testimony was very powerful to see, and if you do not think that that is worth your time or your energy or even your timeliness, well, I feel very sorry for you and I hope that one day you need the services of an attorney and he (or she) has to pick a jury out of a roomful of people. Just. Like. You.  Because let's not forget, one of your rights as a citizen includes the right to a jury of YOUR peers.

And maybe that is all you deserve, you selfish sonofabitch.


xoxo Darya