Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Day in Court

March 18, 2013

I can’t resist a few words on my first day in court. Not my first trail  …. My first trial draw. As a system, it reminds me of the army in some ways. Hurry up and wait was the message of the day. Then of course there was educating you about the process by talking to you like you might be a sixth grader with plenty of corny jokes tossed about.  And redundancy … redundancy … redundancy … redundancy … redundancy … redundancy … The suits. Each side had a pair. One big shot and a mini me beside.  The judge would call the suits up for a good old boy whisper every now and then.  The big shots would stride up and the minis would bounce up behind them, poking their heads forward and pretending to actually be in the conversation.  The minis looked like they might  be 15 years old.  Their pants were wrinkled at the bottoms as if they were too long. The big shots looked bored, or angry. The minis beamed.

Process. It is all about the process. The allusion of fairness ad nausium. Each potential juror has to be asked a question. It doesn’t matter what. It is very hard to give the wrong answer. The same question asked over and over and over. Can you be fair? Are you a bigot? Are you damaged goods? I started to play games in my head. What were they really asking.  The big two. Can you be impartial and can you be fair? Everyone knows the answer is yes-yes. I decided if called up and asked that I would not answer yes-yes. I don’t believe that I can be impartial. I am who I am. All the bigotries, biases, preferences, leanings, likings, and loves are my traveling companions for life. No, I cannot be impartial. However, I can be fair!

Questions and more questions.  It is the defense big shots turn. Same questions with a bit of a twist. Questions with a wink and a nod.  Ask the question … imply another question. They remind us over and over that CSI and Perry Mason and Law and Order are not real. Not here!  I think they watch these shows too. I know this from how they act in court. Maybe they are not real ]. Not here! The game begins. Believe me and mine … you can’t trust them. Believe me … wink and a nod. I don’t like him. I don’t think I would like him in his spare time either. Remember … I am not impartial.

I close my eyes and a picture forms. I can’t shake it. The big shots clip clop about the stage … strings reach skyway to the puppeteer’s cross.


The minis cut endless circles on the floor. Huge windup keys protrude from their backs.

The puppeteer’s face is in the shadows, but the dance goes on.  I can't be sure who is pulling the strings  ...orchestrating the dance. I hope justice doesn't get in the way and muck the whole system up.