Worrying and Worrying...
Saw the headline "Military: 11 G.I.s Die in Iraq Thursday" at FoxNews and just about sucked all the air out of my office. Don't know where Our Guys are at the moment, but there's nothing that chills me faster than to see "A U.S. Marine and soldier died in the attack by a homicide bomber... in Ramadi..." Praying for the families of all these Heroes... frettin' after the "boys"....
As for Jury Duty...
It was a DUI case. Allegations were that the guy had a .15 blood alcohol level at 2 hours post-arrest and .08 4 hours post-arrest. He had plead Not Guilty. So for the purpose of voir dire, the judge introduces himself and the prosecutor and the defense attorney (to determine whether any of the jury pool knows any of these people.) When it is the young public defender's turn to speak, she introduces herself and then begins by saying, "Well, the defendant is not here.. I'm not sure why he is not here... I'm not exactly sure where he is...." (Note to young defense attorneys: NEVER EVER voluntarily admit that you do not know where your client is or why he isn't there! We were all thinking -- okay, he jumped bail... he's sleeping one off... Up until that time, we just figured he was excused from the proceeding.
In the voir dire questioning, the judge -- a very cool guy -- is asking a series of questions and has asked any prospective juror to raise their hand if their answer is no to any question. When he gets to the question, "In order to be a juror, you must be a United States citizen and you must have a full and complete command of the English language." After seeing that no one has raised their hands, he says, "I've often wondered about that question... If you didn't understand English, how would you know what I was saying?"
About 45 minutes into empaneling a jury, the bailiff hands the judge a note and the judge (did I tell you he was a very cool guy?) says to the PD, "Your client's here," and turns to all of us assembled in the court room, "and with that we'll take a short break. Don't wander none too far." We were all chuckling about the defendant, "Uh-oh... somebody's in trouble for being late... I'll bet he gets his ears pinned by the Judge!"
10 minutes later, they call us back into the court room, we notice the defendant is now present, and the questioning of potential jurors begins again. Five minutes later, the PD hands the bailiff a note, who in turn, hands it to the Judge. The bailiff promptly announces, "Will everyone please leave the court room and wait in the outer room?" (when the defendant rose to leave, the bailiff points his finger at the guy and says, "Except you.") After exchanging quizzical looks, we exit the court room, whereupon five minutes later, we are all summoned back into the courtroom.
The Judge announces, "Ladies and Gentlemen, a defendant may plead guilty at any time during the court proceeding and this defendant has exercised that right. Thank you all for your service. You are welcome to stay and view the balance of this proceeding, but you are also free to leave." Most of us left -- some agreeing to reassemble at Starbucks down the road since it was just past 9:30 in the morning -- we all having been summoned to appear at the ungodly hour of 8:00AM.
Now our County Court House is a huge, commanding building and has very large staircases to the outside. As a number of us, including a rather petite and frail looking woman close to 80 I'm sure, made our way to the staircase, someone wondered why the guy waited until that day to plead guilty; I surmised that perhaps he had waited to see whether the police officers showed up to testify in the hopes of a dismissal and a number of people concurred. Then this frail, tiny woman handsomely announces, "The little a***hole -- you'd think he could have plead guilty yesterday so we wouldn'ta had to get up so dang early to be here today!" I'm sure they heard us all laughing blocks away!
My Dear Mother-in-Law
Say a few prayers for my dear 87-year old Mother-in-Law who is very ill and has been hospitalized with (at the moment) unknown maladies. DH is headed back to his tiny home town outside Chicago at 0-dark:30 tomorrow. Missing him already.
Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.