In five years in Shasta County, CA, I have been summoned three times, beginning 4 months after I moved here. Average time between juror duties: about 1.2 years.
I believe in the jury system. I believe in doing my civic duty. But I don’t understand the frequency disparity. Cook County is arguably the most litigious county in the nation. What is it about Shasta County that I get summoned so frequently?
I don’t mind serving on a jury, really. In fact, when I was single and without children, I looked forward to it… but rarely got the call. Now that I have two children whom I drive to school every morning, and now that I am teaching at Simpson University twice per week (Biblical Hermeneutics), and now that Margi is also teaching there (Business Law, Business Ethics), I dread the thought of actually being empaneled as a juror.
How will my kids get to school on the days that Margi teaches early? If a trial goes long, who will fill in for me at Simpson? When will I prepare sermons? And what about my looming book deadline?
I can almost hear the judge now: “Sir, everybody’s busy.”
I agree. I know. I’m not looking for an excuse. I’m sincerely nervous about these things. I’ve been practicing my lines: “I believe in the sanctify of life, Your Honor, and the best way to protect life is the swift, certain, and merciless punishment of those who harm it.”
Yeah, that’s original. I’m sure a judge has never heard that one.
How about the Swollen Prostate argument? Equally unoriginal.
There’s only one argument that might predispose a judge to dismiss me… assuming the judge is male: The Man Cold Argument. A guy judge would empathize and let me off in a heartbeat. If it’s a woman judge, however… all I’ll get is an eye-roll.
Either way, I say, “If he looks guilty, he is guilty.”