So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Talking to the judge
Like a good citizen, I reported for jury duty. They were picking juries for 4 trials out of a pool of about a 100 people. The second number picked for duty was mine.
The Clerk of the Court had informed us that if we had any issues, the time to speak up was right after your number was picked. The judge had read a long list of things we might want to talk to him about.
As soon as the judge asked if I could serve, I said I had a few reservations. He called me up to talk with him. To be honest, I was pretty nervous. My concern wasn't the normal scheduling conflict or personal connections to people in the case. My potential problem was with the law itself. We were only told the bare bones of the case, but I explained to the judge that I cannot find a man guilty of a law I think is wrong.
“The law is the law,” he said.
I told him it was a matter of freedom and ethics. The odds might actually fairly low that it would become a problem but according to his instructions, now was the time to express concerns.
After a private conference with the lawyers, he excused me from that case and had me rejoin the jury pool.
Later in the day, I was picked for a different case. Perhaps there was a bit of sarcasm in the judge's voice when he asked if I had any objections to serving.
“No your Honor,” I said. It looked like that particular case would not have the same moral peril as the earlier case. As it turned out, the case only lasted a day.
My civic duty is now complete and they won't bother me for at least 3 years. Better yet, my conscience won't bother me because I stuck to my principles.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.