Monday, May 14, 2007

Walking The Walk

To enjoy the benefits of this great republic you have to be willing to serve.

I have jury duty in the morning. My instincts are telling me I'm going to be empaneled.

Lord knows when you will see me again. Check Georgia Voices on your right for the latest news while I am in land of no tubes.

UPDATE: Twice in 15 years I have made it past the auto-call informing me I must show up to the Dekalb Courthouse the following morn. Twice I have spent most of the day quietly reading in the jury pool room never seeing the inside of a court room. I admit to feeling vaguely disappointed.

The day wasn't a total loss. I managed to re-read about a quarter of Shelby Foote's massive Fredricksburg to Meridian. I made it to as far as the near forgotten Abel Streight raid which almost reached Rome, Ga. before being cut-off by Nathan Bedford Forrest.

But the high point of the day came as I sat on the steps of the court house, soaking in the sun. In the midst of the mob of jurors, plaintiffs and defendants marching in and out came two couples. Both clutching freshly minted marriage certificates.

One couple was surrounded by family including a father who proudly, with a conspiratorial wink towards me, lit up a massive cigar. The small group ambled over to one of the manicured lawns and began taking pictures.

The second pair I didn't notice until a flash of white caught the corner of my eye. I turned towards the top of the steps and spied a young couple, no more than 25 years old, clutching each other as if their lives depended on the embrace. He was dressed in a natty dark green suit with no tie. She was dressed in a lacy, white cocktail dress. Her face was buried in his chest, quietly crying and his arms wrapped her completely.

Soon, they parted, kissed, then clasped hands to walk out into the bright world. Minds addled from their new glory, they briefly walked the wrong way, then laughing at the silliness, wheeled and disappeared towards the Marta station.

A day wasted? I think not.


Sara said...

I am, believe it or not, jealous. It's invaluable experience for a trial lawyer to watch a jury deliberate from the inside and see what does and does not sway them. Maybe I should make you a paid consultant if you get picked?

I'm sure it's an ugly process and would totally disillusion me, but I still want to hear all about it if you get picked.

Jen said...

I'm jealous as well. It's too bad I'll probably never be picked..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for not trying to weasel out of this important part of citizenship.

I've had jury duty many times in my life - only been on a jury once. But, I've never attempted to get out of it. I always consider this:

God forbid I would ever have to be in front of a jury - but if so I would like someone as cautious, thoughtful, and respectful of the law as I am. (or as you are, Grift)

Sara said...

Aw, I would've loved to see the married couples. It still kills me that the pistol licenses and marriage licenses are in the same place in that courthouse, though.

griftdrift said...

Saves time.

Anonymous said...

It's so cute when men who spend their time getting drunk as swine and hanging out in titty bars get all misty-eyed over marriage and romance. What utter shite.