Carnes: Not exactly another Kobe
VAIL, Colorado –It is a duty we all share as part of a democracy (and for the hair-splitters, it applies to a republic as well).
For whatever reason, I seem to receive an Official Jury Duty Notice about once a year or so, but last week was only the second time in 25 years a personal appearance was actually requested.
For the record, my wife, who shares owner-ship of all property and thus shares in paying the tax bills, has nev-er received a notice. Go figure.
Anyway, proving the sincerity of my judicial intent, I cancelled my tee time that morning and made it to the court-room just in time. Unfortunately, this meant just in time to sit impatiently for at least the next 45 minutes with about 60 other well-intentioned citi-zens, each of us pretending to read the paper, repeatedly glance at our watch-es, close our eyes, clip our nails and yawn in a fashion strongly resembling heavy sighs.
We were bored.
The other time I had to appear was the infamous day when Kobe’s trial was dropped at the last minute. Luck-ily for me, just before the last minute occurred I ran into the Big Guy him-self outside the restroom. After all the happy words I’d written about him-who- shall-never-visit-Happy-Valley-again, let’s just say it was a trip to the john I’ll never forget.
Though last week was not nearly as exciting, I must admit the experience was worth it, mainly because my name was picked at random, along with 11 others, to be grilled by the judge and both attorneys to see which six of us were noble enough to be trusted with making unbiased decisions.
The judge was fittingly adept at making the entire room feel comfort-able, yet it was still difficult not to approach the process as a contest of sorts. From what I could tell, though, nobody really wanted to win.
Except me, that is.
Yeah, I wanted to be picked for the final jury.
I knew nothing of the case, nor did that really matter, but I did want to go through the course of an entire trial because, well, because it’s just some-thing I’ve always wanted to do.
Who hasn’t read a novel or watched a TV show or a movie involving juries and at one point or another said to themselves, ” If I were on the jury, I would have … .”
No? It’s just me?
I guess it doesn’t matter now, as I was not chosen either way. I believe my answer to the question about find-ing guilt even though the law itself might be off-the-wall absurd is what cancelled my golden ticket. I admitted to the judge that doing so would not only go against common sense, but it would be pretty stupid as well.
The last place I was kicked out of for being honest was third- grade Sunday school when I was told I should believe something in spite of the evidence.
That didn’t make sense, either.
But I would have been honest. I would have been fair. I would have lis-tened to each of the witnesses, exam-ined the evidence and used an open mind to reach a conclusion.
I guess that’ll just have to wait until next year.