Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Non Habeas Corpus

I am supposed to be in court today. Well, at the courthouse anyway. On jury duty. So why am I watching The Price is Right and typing this blog instead?

I've been looking forward to serving the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County by Order of the Honorable Joseph M. James, President Judge, for some time now. I got my summons a month ago and have been planning how to get out of being chosen for a jury since then. It isn't the whole experience that I was looking to avoid - I had been called to jury duty before and I knew the deal. Being in the jury pool is one thing. I just didn't want to get picked to actually serve during a case. Would you want to decide the fate of people like the Lemkes?

I was going to enjoy the early ride into town, reliving my days of being a regular on the T. I was ready to turn off my cell phone for hours at a time and have lunch with my friend, Jason, who works nearby. The DaVinci Code has been staring at me from its perch beside the computer for quite some time now, and I was figuring on getting at least halfway through it. At the end of the day (or at 4:30 pm, whichever came first) I would proudly gather my $9.00 stipend. After paying for lunch and the trolley ride home, I'd arrive back at my car being down a couple bucks for the day, but who wouldn't pay that small sum to take place in the privilege of jury service?

Not that I would ever actually have to serve on a jury. My plan was always to enjoy the experience but not get picked to do anything. I didn't want to be involved in dispensing any justice, and I didn't want to have to spend more than one day doing the whole courthouse thing. No, I was going to do everything in my power to not be chosen to serve. I had even grown a beard to crank up the crazy factor. And I was practicing yelling "Guilty! Guilty!" and pointing at the accused if I was ever called up for voir dire (personal questioning). But all of this planning was in vain.

I called the jury hotline last night and was given the devastating news. Only jurors with last names starting with L - for Larry through Z - for Zach were needed. My last name is E - for Expendable.

Oh well. No T ride. No lunch with Jason. No Latin terms being thrown around by lawyer and judge types. And book reading has been held off indefinitely. I really was looking forward to getting out of serving on a jury. But the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County beat me to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The easiest way to get out of jury duty is to say "If the cops arrested them, they must be guilty," or don't shower for a few days, dress badly and repeatedly ask "When do we get the $9.00?"

Coach Brewer

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