I did get dismissed from jury duty last week after they interviewed me for 30 seconds, but after I’d sat there doing absolutely nothing for 12 hours over 2 days. I learned a lot of interesting stuff about the process from watching and listening to everything go down, and from all the folks who emailed or twittered their jury duty stories to me – thanks…
It turns out there’s tons of different reasons the judge, the lawyers or the defendant will dismiss you for, so it’s a real piece o’ cake to get out of a trial and you don’t even have to lie. All you gotta do is say something remotely interesting about yourself – “I vacationed in Venezuela last year” – and they’ll go wait, Venezuela’s in South America… there’s llamas in South America… llama rhymes with Obama… who wants to kill old people with his health care plan… just like the defendant does with his machete, and they’ll kick you out for being a likely killer-sympathizer.
Or more simply, and seriously, if you just say you watch CSI you’ll have a good chance of being dismissed because you probably believe there needs to be gunshot residue, blood spatter and blue-glowing sperm all on the defendant’s face in order to prove him guilty.
A friend of mine told me his story of how the defense attorney dismissed him on the spot just because he knew what the definition of the charge against his client was. A reader said she was dismissed because she showed she had a good memory by recalling details of the last trial she was on years ago, theorizing that some lawyers don’t want you to remember anything but their histrionic opening and closing arguments.
In my case, all I really said was I’m a comic artist, and I recently did a bit of editorial cartooning, and they were like shit, we can’t have a dude with an opinion on our jury so that was it. Finally! It was about time my comics were good for something. Also, I made some “white people talk like this, while black people talk like this” jokes.
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