I’m Not Your Peer



(All photographs are from the 1957 Film Classic 12 Angry Men)

Here I sit in the jury lounge with approx 100 other people, none who want to be there all hoping not to have to sit through the voir doire phase of picking a jury.

I’ve used all kinds of excuses to get out of going, but I think I’m on to something with this one. How about a narcoleptic with tourettes? You’re either snoring or cursing. The prosecutor and
defendant’s attorney couldn’t get you out of that courtroom fast enough.

The real reason that I dislike jury duty so much and don’t believe in it is simple. Defendants are given the right to have a jury of their peers determine their fate.

Follow me on this; I’ve never robbed a business or another person. I’ve never shot another person, I’ve never stole a car, nor have I been involved in a high speed chase attempting to elude arrest. Using that as comparison criterion I’m not one of the defendants peers therefore making me ineligible to be on a jury of their peers.

So if I’ve never been involved in the various array of criminal activities that most defendants are how can I be a peer? Shouldn’t their peers be like minded individuals who participate in the same behaviors that the defendant does?

The 6th Amendment guarantees the accused the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. Speedy and public? You bet. Impartial? No way. There is no way on this Earth that I could be impartial to a drunk driver crashing into another car and taking lives as a result of his/her drunk fest. Who is so cold that they could sit through an entire trial listening and learning that the victim was a vibrant person in the peak of their lives and not be impartial? Not me. Hang him/her, take their lives just like the one they took out. Compassionate? Yes. Impartial, sorry I’m not your guy.

They are under the misconception that Moms, Dads, working people, students, etc.can make one of the important decisions for someone else basing those decisions on a singular incident in the defendants life on a very small amount of information that has been choreographed by the respective attorneys to win a case for their client.

Remember that as a good defense attorney the one question that is never asked of their paying client/defendant is “Did you do it?” Neither the prosecutor or defense attorney ask a question that they don’t already know the answer to. I think those two items are taught on the very first day of law school.

There is no way that I could sit through a trial as a juror, listen to all the evidence without falling asleep, not let my mind wander. The truth is most course cases are boring events.

Personally I’d rather leave my fate up to the experience of the man sitting on the bench. At least he understands the law and should know how to interpret the evidence.

By the way, we just heard the announcement that all 4 trials that were trailing (whatever that means) have been settled and none of the potential jurors are going to be needed and you’ve never seen 100 people exit a building faster than those that were in that room. That qualifies me as a citizen in good standing for attempting to fufill my civic duty.

Safe for another year.