Annnd . . . I’m off to do jury duty again. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to be doing over the next few weeks, since that totally depends on how many jaywalkers need to be sent to the labor camps, and whether or not I can still fake a convincing siezure. This is the price of having a legal system that largely works, where the term “large” refers to the amount of money you’re able to scrape up to buy some justice.
So it’s time to sit in a room with total strangers, waiting for the cattle call to the courtroom where we will be instructed not to pass early judgement upon total strangers whose lives are utterly fucked up and whose emotional garbage will be spread out in public for analysis by shlubs like me. Do we give a damn? Surprisingly, we do.
Well, that was easy. A day and a half of testimony and hi, ho, that fucked-up moron is off to jail. The guy accused of the Awful Thing even took the stand. His public defender probably urged him not to. His public defender was miserably ineffectual in many areas, but that particular advice was sound and the moron should have listened. Take the 5th, stupid, it has your name on it, it’s there for *you*.
I don’t know what the world’s record is for the shortest deliberation, but when it was time for We the Jury to go into the back room and decide the poor sot’s fate, things went pretty damned quick. We filed in, found chairs, elected yours truly as foreman, and I called for a preliminary vote. “Who’s thinking . . . guilty?” Everyone raised a hand. That was like three minutes flat.
So we spent another twenty minutes talking about the case, just to make sure, took another vote, and that was that. Mister Screwed-up Life (who thought he was going to have a “great time” with a 16 year old who actually turned out to be a 45 year old police officer with a hillbilly beard and a cop-class donut gut and a pretty nifty video recording setup) was sent up to the Big House for a couple years of bad food and quality meditation time.
I don’t claim this is a total win for society. We’re probably better off not having Hells-Angel-lookalike police officers pose online as under-age teens and essentially entrap people. It’s unclear that entrapment has any real effect on the supply-and-demand equation, or that we’re getting anything out of this other than improved employment for police officers and sales of trick video gear. On the other hand, I’m happy to have Mr Fucked-Up Life off the streets for a while. On the gripping hand, it’s not like this long and involved and very expensive process has actually improved anything in the world.
Hint: If the cops ever arrest you, and especially if they have you in front of a video camera, ask for a lawyer and shut the fuck up.
[Yeah, I know I haven’t posted here much in Quite Some Time. Mostly my output has been driven by frustration, which when multiplied by my reservoir of stories equals content, and I kind of ran out of both for a while. More later, I can’t promise when.]