Losing jury in a pool of sludge | VailDaily.com

Losing jury in a pool of sludge

I misplace a lot of things.It happens at my age (45 last Friday, just in case you want to buy me a beer), but this is usually limited to typical stuff like car keys, remote controls, socks and small children.But while watching Channel 7 (KMGH) last week, I was disturbed to discover that Eagle County had misplaced some 36,000 residents, all of them apparently over the course of a single night.While discussing the possibility of Kobe’s criminal trial being dismissed (due to judicial incompetence, gold-digging greed or other alleged victims of the big guy’s large hands), the cute blonde newswoman babbled about Eagle County sending out 999, “Almost 1,000!” jury duty notices, which accounts for “about one out of every four residents in Eagle County.”Wow, where’d everybody go?Last time I checked we had passed the 40K mark in population, at least according to the official Eagle County Web site – with more income, less unemployment, more education and less crime than 99 percent of the rest of the country.Although it sounded rather weird to see and hear on the TV news, it must be true because they said it and I heard it. They wouldn’t lie or certainly not report something without having their facts straight first, right? I know how this media biz works. I watch FOX.Anyway, acceptance is the first step in plausible deniability, so I guess we should just go with the flow and acknowledge the vanished (or the vanquished, whichever the case may be).Man, I hope nobody’s missing that I like.There are a few, though, that I won’t lose sleep over. But since they’re already gone, I see no point in kicking their corpse, so to speak. You know the ones I mean.I wonder if this will affect any of our federal or state entitlements?Gee whiz, I hope not. Or maybe it means that our Sheriff’s Office now has the highest number of officers per capita this side of Najaf. With Kobe coming back so danged often, I reckon it does make me feel a tad safer.On the even brighter side, our average per-capita income just jumped up around 900 percent, so I guess we’re all rich now. I suddenly feel so much better about myself. Don’t you?I guess the real question is whether or not one out of four of us have been tainted toward this year’s trial of the century. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hearing how our “jury pool” might be “poisoned,” as if we’re a bunch of bad swimming, toxic, robotic mountain hicks who can’t tell the difference between factual fiction and fictional facts.And why keep using words like “tainted” or “poisoned?” Both words imply that we are somehow corrupt, or at the very least corruptible, and I resent the implication. Just because I may (heavy italics) already be in possession of an opinion concerning Kobe’s guilt or innocence, you don’t have to rub it in with nasty words.Us mountain folk have feelings, too, you know.And now we’re supposed be to waiting on pins and needles concerning the judge’s decision about releasing Kobe’s previously sealed statements to the investigators out for public (read: potential jurors) consumption. The defense claims the release “would be harmful to their client,” due to the highly personal nature of the recorded conversations, yet these are the same people who were adamant about releasing subjective testimony regarding she-who-must-not-be-named sexual history.Yeah, not to be too technical here, but let’s not confuse hypocrisy with legality. Things can become so “muddled” when that happens.Obviously our society has reached the stage where an individual’s sexual history has less privacy weight than Oprah’s decision in a 12-person murder trial. (I’m pretty sure she voted guilty.) I guess I’ll just have to keep reminding myself that the alleged victim has not been charged with a crime. Mackey might wish there were only around 4,000 of us. That way they would have only sent around 100 jury duty notices, thus lessening the chance of more potentially poisoned jurors.Or maybe that increases the chance. Heck, I get confused easy.Either way, I sure would like to have a few autographs inked on my jury duty notice when I show up this Friday (for the sake of my kid’s prosperity, you understand). It would look great in a nice frame on the wall in my office, right next to my lithographs of President Reagan and John Wayne.I’ll ask Mackey and Hurlbert to sign the front, and since Kobe allegedly prefers it the other way, I’ll have him sign on the back.I sure hope I haven’t misplaced the silly thing.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.netVail Colorado

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