This week, I'm doing my civic duty by reporting to the Queens Criminal Courts for jury duty. One day down, X to go. When they told me that I could be required to return for up to two weeks, a little piece of my soul shattered. I'm crossing my fingers that I'm dismissed as a deviant.
While trying to read in the "jury pool room" this morning, I was treated to a short film explaining the history of our judicial system. Ed Bradley, of 60 Minutes fame, hosted the video. It condensed the history into a five-minute edit, featuring Aristotle, English peasants in the Middle Ages, and the present United States court system. Ah, yes, the three simple steps to righteous judging.
The video did have its entertaining moments. In a cheesy reenactment of a scene from the fourteenth century, robed figures tied and gagged an accused peasant while Bradley's narration explained,
"In the Middle Ages, the accused was bound and gagged and thrown into a lake. If they floated, they were found guilty and murdered. If they sunk, they were deemed innocent."A murmur was heard in the jury pool room. A man to my left said, "That ain't fair."
As if on cue, Bradley asked the viewers, "Does this seem fair to you?"
No. No, Ed, it certainly doesn't.
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