Monday, April 6, 2009


Last week was very crazy in my life due to the fact that I had an appointment this morning at the federal courthouse in Anderson for jury selection. As a result, I tried to cram two weeks worth of work into one week, because I was anticipating being out of the office from today through Thursday. Well the good news is I was rejected! Normally being rejected would make me feel sad, but not in this case. There were three trials that jurors were selected for today. My name was drawn on one, and when I stood up the prosecuting attorney said they were striking me as a potential juror. Maybe it's because I'm a pastor. Maybe I looked too mean or too compassionate or too stupid. Whatever the reason, I am glad to have this week to get things done at the office.

Here are a few very random observations from my time in court this morning:

- The courtroom was colder than the milk aisle at Ingle's. I didn't take a jacket inside, and by the time they gave us a bathroom break at 11:00 it was taking all I had to keep my teeth from chattering. I guess since the judge has to wear those robes he wants the temp low.

- All judges are funny. Maybe it's a pre-requisite for the job, or maybe it's just that every one in the courtroom is on edge so no matter what they say people respond with nervous laughter, but every courtroom I've been in is presided over by a judge who is great at one-liners. This guy today was no exception.

- No on wants to serve on a jury, including me. Today there were probably 75 people in the juror pool, and all of them responded with huge smiles when they were rejected from service. If they were selected you could see the discomfort on their face. Does that make all of us who were in the Anderson courthouse today bad citizens? I hope not. I'd like to think I'm a responsible American, but the thought of spending all week in that courtroom was driving me nuts. I guess the moral of the story is, if you commit a crime your fate lies in the hands of twelve people who would rather be anywhere else than in the courtroom listening to what you did. If that's the case, your chances aren't real good. Remember kids, crime doesn't pay.


Trey Frick said...

Glad they gave you the boot Cliff.
Wasn't your buddy Pauly in a movie called 'Jury Duty?'
I hope this rejection will not 'hurt' like the girl at the high school football game did.

Bryan Parris said...

On the funny judge comment. I think it has to do with the seriousness of the job they are in. I've found most funeral directors have a great sense of humor as well.

Allan Waterfield said...

I will share my formula for jury rejection. Wear a suit and tie with a white shirt and stare at the defendent. It has worked for me several times in three different states.

brenna said...

Last summer I had jury duty for the county. I'd been summoned for duty before but this time I was selected for a case. I was on this jury case for 2.5 days. Fun but stressful having to sit there so still, no facial expressions, and listen to all the witness testimonies.
I'm glad it was over in 3 days but I would serve again.

DMaC said...

"Too mean , too compassionate or too stupid". That would make for a great reality show.
I think judges are funny because they have no real boss. It's like, " I'm a judge, I can do whatever I want. Who's gonna stop me?"