Sister was in Town followed by Jury Duty

Been busy. Though I wish I could say it was all because I’ve been writing the next part of Buried Instincts.

Life happens.

My sister and her kids came to town, so I dropped a lot of my normal routine to spend time with them. My niece is still a whirlwind of personality. My nephew is still a sweet kid, and apparently flush with cash. Over $400 at last count! We spent some time eating ramen in Little Tokyo and a day in Legoland. On the way to the theme park we accidentally learned how toll roads work in Orange County. My nephew enjoyed Legoland and enjoys theme parks in general. My niece… not so much this time. Any roller coaster and any ride with a line that goes through a dimly lit area was scary. She wouldn’t even go on the very kid friendly submarine ride. I think about halfway through she started to have fun. Always gratifying to drive a long distance, spend gobs of money, only to insist about an hour in that one of the kids wants to go home.

They went back home the next day and the court called me in.

Somehow, lawyers love me. The last two times I was called into a courtroom to participate in the jury selection process I was selected. The first was some old guy trying to get out of his DUI. The defense didn’t even dispute any of the evidence which was basically that the guy add alcohol in his blood stream. In her closing argument she weaved a fantastic tale where the cops were just conspiring to set up a poor old man. We had to remind a few of the jurors that there was no evidence of this. I was actually excited to sit on the trial. I have played most of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games and when the cops, the science experts, and witnesses were on the standing, I was looking for contradictions and taking notes. I think the time practically flew by. The only complaint I have is that courts usually start early in the morning. I don’t usually start early in the morning, thus I don’t look forward to performing my civic duty. When the jury finally entered deliberations, I was shocked to learn that most of them thought this trial was a big waste of time. In retrospect, they were right. Man, I even wore slacks and a buttoned down shirt. When I got back to the office, my female co-workers were even acting perkier than usual around me.

The second trial was a civil case. During the jury selection process they excused juror after juror until I ended up in the box. Once I made it in there they were thrilled of course. Then I got to see a whole slew of evidence against a millionaire who had a friend come up with an idea for a product they could market on QVC. The millionaire tried to cut his pal out of the deal. At the end, once we deliberated we all had great dislike for the plaintiff. His personality, maybe? The defendant lost, and we had to come up with a dollar amount to punish him. But the jury didn’t like the idea that the plaintiff was the one receiving the money. We ended up just pulling numbers out of our asses and averaging it together.

So this time, I thought for sure I would have to be on the jury again, because I was called into the courtroom. This time it was a murder trial. Maybe I wouldn’t be disappointed to get picked! Besides, with my book selling the way it is, $15 a day is actually a raise for me. Ah, but this would be the longest jury selection process I’ve experienced. It took three days for me even to reach the jury box after the lawyers dismissed potential juror after juror for who knows why? A lot of them seemed like perfectly normal people to me? So once I made it to the box, I thought for sure I was going to see it through to the end. During the questioning process, they brought a whole new group of jurors into the court. This was also something I hadn’t seen before. Meat for the grinder.

Anyway, after the questions they sent a bunch more of the jurors packing and I got dropped into seat #1. I was #1 in the DUI trial so I resigned myself to my fate and went on the 15 minute morning break. When we got back, they rotated the last of the people from the initial group into the box, questioned them, then when it was time to excuse people, I was the first one excused. I was shocked. I wasn’t even trying to get out of doing it. Well, freedom does taste good, and I was happy to go back to my late waking schedule.

The questions though gave hints as to what strategies the prosecution and the defense were going to use. A gathered there was a lot of circumstantial evidence. I also gathered that if the defense could come up with an equal or better explanation of that evidence she could cast doubt on it.

I returned home and searched for information on this case. It did make the news!

I thought about sitting in on the trial, but having to wake up early and my strong desire to keep writing my novel will keep me from going. I do wonder how it will go though.

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