Call of (Jury) Duty 2

My husband has jury duty today and he's looking forward to it. I know! He says he likes the opportunity to just sit and read while waiting to be called. He doesn't have to talk to anyone. There won't be any meetings. He told me with a straight face he might even be able to get some work done.

He's always getting called for jury duty. I'd say it happens at least once a year. He puts on a good show, getting all huffity about How come he always gets called to do his civic duty and no one else does?  By no one else, he means me. I've never been called. Ever. And I vote. More than he does, if you must know. And don't they base the pool for juries on people who are registered to vote?

Not that I wouldn't welcome the opportunity. I'd get to stay home from work. No travelling. No jet lag. If I could bring my laptop, I might even get some writing done. You know, I'm beginning to see why he likes it.

In all the times he's been called, he's only been empanelled once. On a murder case. I remember it because we'd just received a photo of our future daughter, but at the time it was only a photo of our potential future daughter and I couldn't get hold of him all day. I thought we'd lose her and some other Bridge of Hope family would snap her up. As fate would have it, she was meant to be ours.

That one murder trial empanelment brought fears of a long drawn out trial and sequestration, but my husband needn't have worried. It lasted less than one day. The defendant's mother came to court in support of her son. But he pled guilty, struck a plea bargain or something – (Hey, if you want real legalese, check out Chicago's Real Law Blog. I'm just someone's mom.) – and the trial was over.

This is strong testimony to the power of motherhood everywhere, even among murderous gang-bangers. The judge explained to the soon-to-be-free jury, the bad guy didn't want his mother to hear in open court, all the details of all the horrible things he'd done. "This happens all the time," the judge said.

I find that absolutely amazing. His mom's presence in court ended the trial. Although it kind of begs the question: if she were mom enough to instill that kind of embarrassment at doing a crime into her son, shouldn't she have had the power to not raise him to be a murderer in the first place?

Uh-oh. Just got a call from my husband. He's been empanelled again. This time it's a civil case, so I'm guessing the chances of someone's mom showing up and putting an end to it are slim. He says the trial will last for almost two weeks, but at least he'll be done at four-thirty every day. Say, just think of all the work he'll get done.

 

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