It’s not that I hate Jury Duty as much as I hate Jury Duty in Philadelphia.
The day started pissing rain making a bike ride downtown not an option. I had to take SEPTA (also file under things I hate) which was as inefficient as the Jury selection process and thanks to my obsessive need to be early, made it just on time. It’s imperative that you get there on time, so you can wait for eight hours to be sent home with $9.25.
I was in the first group to be sent out of the selection room- up six floors to sit in a room (well sleep. I slept for around 30 minutes) without Judge, Council or defendant for another three hours before changing rooms to sit for another forty five minutes. That’s when I was not chose for trial #1 without ever having talked to either side.
Maybe it was because I fell asleep?
I was shocked to hear one of the Jury officials use the words “Honest Injun” in front of a room full of potential Jurors. I’m by no means a politically correct kinda guy and wasn’t offended, just surprised that a Philadelphia court employee would be so free to use that kind of language in a room full of people.
I wasn’t shocked to hear a Philadelphia motorcycle officer (badge 4467, the name M. Alice on his jacket) use the words “that’s fucking gay” as an epithet. While in uniform. While in a courthouse. Keep it classy, Philadelphia Police Department! When you’re in queue for a trial where five witnesses are Philadelphia Police Officers, it’s hard for this sort of thing to not tarnish your view on the ‘boys in blue’- but luckily I was dismissed from that trial before I had to share my opinions on the incident with the Prosecutor. I’ve found that the system rarely likes it when you criticize the system.
They gave us an hour plus lunch break; which I thought was my break. By the time I’d get back it would be 1:15pm and there’s no way I’d be sent out on another pool… right? Wrong. And to add insult to (personal) injury- the second trial I was in the pool for was a Civil case. Perfect. The other potential Jurors and I were escorted across the street to City Hall. In the pouring rain. To sit for another three hours while they talked. And talked. And eventually started interviewing us. I was Juror #12.. out of almost 50. So once my interview was over I had to sit there as patiently as possible while they interviewed everyone else. Luckily the folks I was sitting with were fun to talk to, and with the Defendant and Plaintiff only feet away for almost three hours… we talked about adopting dogs, best case scenarios of Zombie outbreaks, vomitting in Target and much much more. Eventually they made their selection (only two were before me. They could have cut me hours previously) and we were sent on our way without our checks (because we stayed so late the office folks had gone home) for $9.25 but at least out of the pleasant Philadelphia Judicial District where Honest Injuns and things deemed fucking gay are far less common.
You suck, Philadelphia.
Photo: Jury Doodie.