A quick note to say that I have been Selected. For the next two weeks I will be Grand Juror #20 in one of the many small decrepit courtrooms in downtown Manhattan. To tell you any more than that, at least according to the nifty informational video starring Ed Bradley and Sam Waterston, is to risk contempt charges for me and possible death by mob hitman for you.
Well, let me say a couple things about it. First off, this is a completely Soviet bureaucracy, in New York County at least. I arrived at 9am yesterday and by 4:30pm we were still basically being given our marching orders. It took hours to get selected, hours to get through the information sessions. There is a fundamental disrespect for the value of citizens’ time that usually marks third-world republics and other forms of totalitarian governments.
Second, We the People are lazy, whiny bastards. The number of proposed excuses for getting out of this jury duty–even after they had reported to the courthouse–was staggering. Audacious. Idiotic. The fundamental concept that seemed to animate most of these people was: screw our legal system, I’ve got somewhere better to be.
As much as I dislike the inefficiencies of the process, I believe in jury duty, like I believe in voting. Just do it. Don’t be a whiner. Don’t be a teabagger. Make this country work.
Ask me in two weeks, though, if I still feel the same.