Thursday, February 7, 2008

Jury Doody

... because calling it "Jury Bulls**t" would be too vulgar.

This week I got called up for jury duty. No big deal; I had already missed half a week of class due to foot surgery, and so what was another few days more?

Luckily for my attendance-'n-grades, I didn't actually get picked for a trial. (And no, I didn't have to lie and say I was "prejudiced against everything." There was a plea-bargain, and so the trial was canceled before any of us got interviewed.)

Before we were sworn in as jurors, we had to sit through an educational film about our legal system. This film, which looked like it was made in the early 1980s, exhibited the same standards of narrative and quality common to most slide-reel educational presentations of that era.

At the end, the camera focused on a group of men (and one woman -- all white, of course) sitting in a jury box.

"You should be proud to be a juror," the narrator intoned, "and to participate in a country founded on the idea that everyone has the right to a fair and public trial. Unlike other countries, the United States does not have secret trials, and it does not keep accused people hidden away, preventing them from receiving justice. You, the juror, are part of what makes America great."

Right. What Makes America Grate. Add "blatantly lying about our secret trials" to the list.

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