Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jury Duty

I got summoned to jury duty this week, and I report this morning.

It’s the second time in five years that I’ve been called; last time I waited most of the day before being excused from a civil case that involved a health insurance claim. This time it will be something more; I’ve been summoned to the criminal court house.

I know a lot of people hate being called to jury duty and they try to get out of it, but I’m actually very happy to do it. For one thing, it’s theatre, even if it’s not as exciting as Perry Mason or Matlock, but it does have its characters and costumes and chorus and audience. When I was in grad school, I was asked to coach law students on how to talk to a jury. I told them that the best way to convince a jury was to treat them as if you were doing a part in a play; not with the histrionics of an over-the-top actor, but to actually believe in what you’re saying: method acting for the judiciary stage.

I also think it’s my civic duty to participate in this part of the justice system… and it sure beats being on the other side.

I have a good book, and I’ll let you know what happens after.