Murder, Uber and Church Pews

Failure to Appear for jury duty is not bueno.  I realized this two days AFTER I was supposed to have been at the courthouse at 8:15am.  The court clerk told me I better be there the following Monday or there would be serious consequences.

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That took me straight to Def Con 1 in my mind.  What if I’m late?  What if I can’t find parking?  What if I CAN’T FIND THE COURTHOUSE?  OH MY GAHD I’M GOING TO JAIL.

Last time I was there I wasn’t lucky enough to have some hot Orange-is-the-New-Black girl to party with…

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I also wasn’t a fan of prison fashion or skim milk and bologna.

I prefer to stay out here.  Please and thank you.

That means it’s the perfect time to start imagining all the things that could make a person late to the courthouse and result in their immediate incarceration. Car accident.  Flat tire.  Full lot. What if I get lost???  This happens almost every time I get in the car regardless of the destination.  It’s not only possible; it’s probable.  

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The only way I stood a chance of arriving on time would have been to spend the night in a hotel within walking distance of the courthouse.  Or be driven.  Oh my gahd or BE DRIVEN!  I sent for a town car.

Uber.com –  It’s not just for drunk people.  It’s also for neurotic people.  Hooray!

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It was planned out perfectly.  I would drive Anna to school and my knight in a shiny Lincoln would be waiting for me when I returned.  I’m a genius.

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A genius who didn’t account for an Uber driver who didn’t own a GPS.  I watched the icon on my phone change from:  driver is two minutes away, to driver is seven minutes away and panic set in.  It’s important to appear calm in front of children while losing your mind, so I tried to make light conversation.  Fact:  I didn’t hear ANYthing my child was saying with her mouth. Science project bla bla bla.  [Driver is 10 minutes away].  Girls on the Run bla bla bla.  [Driver is nine minutes away].  Yearbook money bla bla bla.  [Driver is eight minutes away].  “Love you honey – have a great day see you after school!”  [Driver is 14 minutes away.]  WAIT.  WHAT THE FUCK???

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I hate you, Uber.

I bravely decided to drive myself, and cancelled the car service.  Five minutes into my white-knuckling voyage, the driver called and asked, “Where exactly is your house?”

Mutherfucker it’s on the street your dumb ass is NOT on, and I’ll be in JAIL before the sun goes down. This ride is CANCELLED!

“Thank you for calling.  I couldn’t wait any longer and cancelled the ride via text.”

12 minutes later I walked into the courthouse on time with the kind of weepy relief typically reserved for hostages who’ve just arrived at an American Embassy.

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Kumbaya, right?

Wrong.  Remember when my ass went rogue and now I have to eat kale 19 times a day mixed with fairy dust?  That means I had a tupperware container in my bag, AND A FORK.  Forks are considered weapons when spotted in an x-ray thingy.

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File under:  frisked and warned.  Add replace fork to errand list.

Once inside the assembly room we were informed a snack bar would be at our disposal throughout the day.  They also asked for our patience, and honesty, because it’s operated by the visually impaired.

They also provided us with reading material.

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57 years later they called my name and I followed the leader to the 6th floor.  All 40 of us were ushered into church pews where Judge Flake (her actual name) called us to order so a “jury of peers” could be selected. Then the lawyers on both sides asked important questions relevant to the case, like:

Has anyone you’re close to been murdered?  Have you or anyone you’re close to committed murder?  Committed or been a victim of armed robbery?  Arrested?  Had a negative experience with police, or a public defender, or a court official, or the court in general or have a negative opinion of people who own guns?

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They directed these questions to the group in 19,329 different ways and potential jurors raised their hand if something applied to them.  Then we got to hear from every single person who raised their hand.

Here’s what some people said out loud on purpose:

“I would be biased, but I wouldn’t be biased.”

“I’m diabetic and I have to pee a lot and take medicine and I can’t be here.”

“I know someone who committed murdery.”

“All black cops, lawyers and judges abuse their power. The white ones are nice.”  (The gasp was audible).

“This is all because of the Industrial Revolution.”

“The justice system don’t make no sense.  It’s all corrupt.  Worthless.”

My favorite?  The clever fellow who answered every yes/no question with, “What’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong.” He changed the inflection each time as if he were making a brand new point.

I was chosen for the team.  Not because I’m awesome, but because I was apparently one of the few people who hadn’t murdered anyone, been robbed at gunpoint, or had their cerebral cortex severed without their knowledge.

Thanks to this experience, I’m not just afraid of being incarcerated – I’m also afraid of living out here with my “peers.”

Have you ever served on a jury?  Hey tell us about the time you were arrested.

Comments

  1. Garden & Gun is my old boss’s magazine. Like, he owns it… Welcome to the south, right?!

  2. thank you for the ………..
    lolz

  3. Hahaha, you have to be a special sort to be picked for a jury, that’s for sure. Being that you were chosen makes me want to put meeting Molly in person on my bucket list. You must be exceptionally fascinating. Lol. Is there more to come about this insanity?

    • Oh indeed, very special, believe it. Meeting should definitely be on the bucket list : ) Yes more to come on this nonsense. You know you have jury duty story – tell us!

    • Oh indeed, very special, believe it. Meeting should definitely be on the bucket list : ) Yes more to come on this nonsense. You know you have jury duty story – tell us!

      • Sweet. Well, when I lived within the city limits, we’d actually get called every two or three years. It was super annoying, but police officers and some other occupations were excused automatically for many years. When they changed the law and I did have to appear the last time, I was in the voir dire and it’s just as amazing as you describe it. No finer example of the human spirit can be witnessed than can be during this simple question and answer session. I love it, for real. Anyway, right before lunch was starting the judge called me to the bench and asked if I was a police officer. When I said yes, he said, “well, I guess we won’t need you on this jury then, right?” Well judge, I’m already of the opinion that this guy is guilty, so I’d save a lot of time, if you’d like me to stay and participate, I said. The defense attorney huffed like a dumb bitch and he excused me from having to come back. I moved to the county a few years ago and haven’t been called yet, so we’ll see!!

      • Oh my gahd right??? I was riveted. You are correct – there is no finer example of the human spirit than those question/answer sessions. Love love loved every second of it. It’s a shame police officers don’t get to serve. You’d have any case ironed out in four minutes flat : )

  4. So if you say those racist or shitty things does it help get you off jury duty? Did the racist guys get dismissed by the judge? I’m always paranoid about being selected for jury duty because my life is so intense because of all of my commitments I can’t imagine being away from work and whatnot for even 1 day….. so if I ever got selected I already decided I would say the most bombastic shit in the hope that they dismiss me.

    Right now my top three choices of things to say are,

    If asked if I would be impartial; “Your honor, I believe all judges like yourself are egotistical assholes and I believe you should be dismissed, defrocked, and put in jail for being a terrible blight on humanity”

    If asked if I would weigh all the evidence carefully, “your honor, I smoked so much has and dropped so much acid back in the day that my attention span is all of 4 minutes and thirty seconds….. what was the question again your honor?”

    If asked if I’m racist, “Your honor, my father was Jewish, my grandfather was Jewish, and I am half a Jew from the waste down…… wait a minute, what was the question again and what does my private parts have to do with anything your honor????”

    God, I REALLY don’t want to ever be picked for jury duty

    • Ahhhhh those are all awesome answers…if you want to be held in contempt of court hahaha! I really thought saying some political shit about gun control would get me released, but I was wrong. Sigh. The good news is I’m off the hook for 18 months – hooray! For future reference, I would recommend any of the stupid comments quoted in this post. ALL of those people were dismissed immediately : )

  5. I was summoned for jury duty last week, but when I called in the night before, I learned we were no longer needed. Still, I was paranoid that maybe I misheard the message and then would get arrested, so I called back at least three times.
    I was a bit disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to write a post like this save for the fact a snowstorm came through that night and I would have never made it on time to the courthouse.

    • Oh it’s terrifying right??? Especially when you’ve already blown it once haha. I’m so glad you weren’t called. Even though a snow storm is a legitimate excuse, it’s still a pleading conversation no one wants to have. EVER. Also, handcuffs aren’t cute. Unless you’re at home. Mostly.

  6. i liked

  7. There are no words to describe my love for this post so I won’t say anything. Although…

    Won’t you get in trouble for talking about the case? I mean, I know you haven’t mentioned any specifics as such but I’m sure I saw Benson and Stabler put some away for this exact same thing once on SVU?

    Also, remember how you did that post a few months back and there was a picture of a gravestone dated 27th February? Guess what day it is today?

    Also (this is the last one I promise), welcome back. I’ve missed you. In a non-creepy ‘who’s this weird, British man’ kind of way.

  8. Calling a car service was crazy. You left your fate in someone else’s hands. A classic rookie mistake. You’re lucky you’re not blogging from the big house.

    Many years ago I had jury duty in Manhattan and Woody Alan was in the jury pool. He was dismissed almost immediately. True story. I was picked and it was a horrific experience. I, literally, never want to discuss it.

    Why you no blog? Three weeks. Don’t think we haven’t noticed. Because we have.

    • Hahaha excellent point! Uber is usually very reliable – this was truly a first.

      Meanwhile, wtf with your jury situation??? That’s awful. I’m so sorry to hear it was that miserable.

      I no blog because I’ve been 19 times busier than usual the last few weeks, and I HATE it. I miss you guys so much. Other things are going to have to slide going forward. Like bathing and feeding children.

      Also, why you no blog totally reminds me of Angjelah Johnson’s stand-up (why you no like long nail?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsWrY77o77o You must watch. It will cleanse your mind from the jury duty memories : )

      • I only hope that you are being paid at 19x your usual rate. It’s only fair.

        Three weeks. Let’s not let that happen again, yeah?

        I don’t know her! She’s cute! And funny. In my younger days, she’d have had me over a barrel like that (*snap*).

  9. I’ve never registered to vote, so I’ve never been selected for jury duty. At least, I think that’s the reason.

  10. Ha! Glad no ones life is in the hands of the ones you story-checked!

    I’ve been called several times, only close to serving once. I had a trip in two weeks. Judge wanted me to come back the next day, but the clerk laughed and signed the paper work, and told me to have e nice day.

    • Buh lieve it. Speaking of travel hardship, which you clearly qualified for, one girl said she couldn’t be there because she had to visit her sister who was “locked up in Alabama.” As you know (and we were told), only a non-refundable plane ticket is excused. When the Judge asked if she was flying, she looked at her like she was crazy and said, “no.” That was quite a crowd. If I ever get in trouble in this county I wouldn’t stand a chance haha!

  11. Girl! I just dodged this bullet a week ago by checking their fancy website every day and being told “Not tomorrow, but maybe the next.” Until finally it said, “Thanks so much you are done now.” OH HAPPY DAY CALLOOH CALLAY!!! I did hear a guy get dismissed once as a result of saying, “No I cannot be unbiased because every minute I am here I am losing money and no matter what that guy sitting at the defendants table is the reason for that…so as far as I’m concerned he IS guilty.” Yeah I ended up on that one with 11 of us working hard to convince one hold out how the circumstantial evidence, which was completely damning and there was not a chance in hell the guy had not done the crime, was enough evidence to convict. Sigh…funny thing was almost everyone on that jury was pretty sharp…except for our one hold out who had clearly skipped class the day they handed out all the common sense.

    • Hahaha one of the people selected lost her mind and grumbled all the way to the jury seats complaining about how she was going to go broke bc she was self-employed. She got a stern talking to behind closed doors and was chipper from that point forward. I guess she had to be told contempt of court might be slightly more costly than serving on a jury for a week…Glad you got out of the most recent one, but it sounds like you were a real asset on the one before! Well done T : )

  12. So… I can get out of jury duty by saying I don’t like cops? That seems too easy.

  13. Molly, you are so lucky. So, so lucky.
    I have never been called for jury duty. And I so desperately want to.
    I read this post with giant pangs of envy….why couldn’t this be me, surrounded by all those crazies???
    Maybe one day…
    Hope springs eternal.

  14. Very funny! Glad you did not end up in the slammer! Courts are so scary aren’t they? I was chosen a couple of years ago, luckily it was a one day case. I ended up being the boss of the jurors (maybe because I was being bossy) and we deliberated for the entire day. We all agreed that the person was guilty but the prosecution did a horrible job proving it. We had to let the woman walk because of the inadequacies of the prosecution and I remember staring her down when we went back to deliver our verdict. The woman lives in my town and I’ve seen her since. I had to restrain myself from jumping on her and telling her how GUILTY she was. It was actually a great experience being a juror.

    • That must have been sooo frustrating! Now I’m dying to know what she did!!! PLEASE TELL US THE STORY!!!

      • I wish it was juicier than it actually was. She driving home one summer night after being at a party. There was a truck behind her that noticed she was swerving and followed her to try to stop her. She claims that she was swerving because she saw a truck following her and that she was scared. The truck driver called 911 and followed her to her driveway. She got out of her car quickly and ran inside leaving the door open and the contents of her purse on the ground. When the police arrived she got belligerent and reeked of alcohol. She then…(sorry for this) defecated herself right at her doorway and began spitting at the police. When taken in she continued yelling and behaving erratically. She SO had been drinking! Her defense argued that she was scared for her life because a truck was chasing her and had a witness that attended the same party she did testify that she was “fine” when she left the party. The prosecution was horrible and although they had the arresting policeman testify, etc completely lacked the ability to prosecute her! He was a young lawyer and was clearly not well prepared. We all agreed (jurors) that she was guilty but our hands were tied. Que sera, sera! 🙂

      • Oh WOW. I can’t believe she crapped her pants! If she wasn’t drunk she should have pretended to be just to save herself any shred of dignity haha. Kidding aside, cuhlearly she was shipwrecked – it’s a shame the prosecution did such a shitty (pun totally intended) job. But fear not – she will do it again and eventually go straight to jail. Hopefully you’re not on that jury. No one likes to see the same show twice : )

  15. Never have been chosen – only have been chosen for tedious election assistant duties. Another of those honourable duties you cannot ditch. And you know what – I was kind of proud I could do something to help.

    • Oh wow. I didn’t even know you could be chosen and required to serve as an election assistant. I don’t think we have that here. Or I’ve simply never been chosen because I’m so mouthy. Who can say? But I agree with you on feeling proud to serve. I was too : )

      • Don’t know who counts US-voter-votes – here inhabitants are chosen – a lot of of which are working for the state.You get some financial compensation. During the poll some are required to be present and in the evening all of the chosens get together to count.

      • Here in the U.S. our polls are run by local volunteers in each area. My Mom did it all the time when I was growing up. A local lady would have the election booths set up in her garage. Really kinda cool in a “see WE do this, WE run this crazyass ship so ya better get involved…right here in Mrs. Fortneys garage!”

      • Miss Bliss of COURSE your mom has election booths in your garage – I love it!

  16. Wait, what? I haven’t even heard of Uber.com? I’m wondering if I should check it out…Ha. I have never served on jury duty. And now that I wrote those words, I will be getting a letter in the mail next week. Lol

    • Well Julie I think you just signed yourself up for jury duty : ) And YES you should totally check out Uber – it’s an app on your phone. You enter in your credit card info, it stays on file, and any time you need a ride you press two buttons and a car is on its way. Genius! Let us know jury duty goes ; )

  17. Sure, how could you have a garden without a gun? 😉 Odd choice for a courthouse…
    My god, those potential jurors really do sound brain-dead. You might be safer in prison – although those people were dumb enough to get caught!

    • Hahaha right? Hey I know – don’t promote guns in a courthouse. Frankly after that experience, I just hope I never get in trouble in this county : )

  18. You are hilarious! The quotes from your “peers” killed me.

    Also, were you really in jail? If so, please write that story. xoKaren

  19. Ha! What a nut house, Molly. The best one is “What is right, What is wrong” guy. I could just hear it.And, murdery. At least you got a great post out of it! I’ve dodged jury duty twice now. Once, because I was moving. And the second, because I was breastfeeding. Will I be so lucky again?

    • Wow you totally dodged – well played! I actually really liked the experience…because I’m nosey haha. Hearing all the witnesses tell their version of the story was fascinating. Note: lying under oath is real.

  20. I would have committed murdery. For sure.

  21. I’ve never served on a jury, but I do judge people a lot.

  22. I did two days of jury duty last summer. It was during one of NYC’s heat waves. We don’t have air conditioning at work, so I was very, very disappointed to not have been chosen to stay for a few more days.

    • That’s crazy – where do you work??? Did you like serving on the jury?

      • I work in an old, not-quite-converted church building in Brooklyn. There are some summers where we have mercy closings. Because it probably shouldn’t be 95 degrees….inside. As for jury duty, I made it to the round where I was in the jury box, being interviewed by the defense and DA as a potential juror with the alleged murderer sitting at the table, his family in the audience. I was sitting there, for 2 days, thinking that this probably isn’t as much fun as it seems on TV. After lunch on the 2nd day all the potential jurors gathered in the main jury room downstairs. They called my name and 20 others, we met the bailiff outside, then he said we were dismissed. It was the strangest feeling of relief and disappointment. Wasn’t I good enough? Did I seem impartial? Did they validate parking?

  23. Oh, this post killed me. Jury duty is something I’ve only seen on TV, but I don’t think I’d want to be selected. Hopefully the case is interesting. Maybe a murdery?

    • It’s pretty much exactly how it’s portrayed on TV. There’s always one dumbass, one belligerent asshole, a silent juror, an exasperated foreperson and then everyone else haha.

  24. I have never had jury duty…but I have been arrested. Once. It was my husband’s fault. The night in question involved dancing, losing my shoes, losing my husband who had the car keys and my cell phone, and laying down on the hood of the car for a nap until he found his way to me. Unfortunately, the cops found me first, and I was so drunk that I said, “I need to pee really bad. Let’s go.” and got in the car. I practically arrested myself. And they did not let me pee for a really long time.

    • Hahahaha oh my gahd that story is hilarious! It was tohhhhtally your husband’s fault : ) They should be ashamed for making you wait to pee for so long after you did their job for them. No gratitude whatsoever haha.

  25. Reblogged this on welbertblog.

  26. I stopped by to see if you had something to say here about meeting Kenneth “The Culture Monk” Justice. But this is okay. I will say that the two times I was called for jury duty so far, I managed to get exceptions for both. My reason for the second, I think, was worthy… it was after getting off the surgeon’s table and being brought home in a wheelchair. (I had back surgery.)

    • Wow – back surgery – what in the world? Are you okay now? Meeting Kenneth was great – that will be featured on my blog in the morning : ) Thanks for stopping by!

      • It was about three years ago, Molly, and I’m okay. I have some post-surgery pain, a lot of it nerve damage, but that’s why I had the surgery– to minimize such nerve damage. Tradeoffs and dilemmas, I guess.

        Thanks for your reply. WordPress tends to be a small world… think I saw you first at Outlaw Mama’s.

      • Hooray – I’m glad you’re okay now : ). Nice to meet you – I LOVE Christie -going to your blog now!

  27. I’ve been called for jury duty twice. The first time, I was picked to serve on a jury panel for a criminal trial. I was designated as the Forewoman, which was sort of fun. The second time, I just sat there for two days listening to my cells age, before I was finally thanked for my time and released.

    Those excuses are good ones. I would give big props to anyone who just went up to the judge and said, “Your Honor, I really just don’t give a fuck about jury duty and would rather be pretty much anywhere else.” That would be some refreshing honesty.

    • Hahaha – yes! Anyone who would say “I don’t give a fuck” to a judge is someone I would befriend immediately. “Listening to my cells age” hahaha. Heart : )

  28. As someone who often deals with the “peers,” your experience was totally typical, frightening, but typical. I am SO jealous you are on a jury — seriously — I try to get picked every time I got called and they always turn me down. It’s like the 6th grade dance where the response to the “PLEASE I WANT TO DANCE TO ERIC CLAPTON SO BAD SOMEONE ASK ME ALREADY PLEASE I LOVE TEARS IN HEAVEN COME ON CUTE KID FROM SOCIAL STUDIES JUST COME OVER HERE” vibe I was throwing out was total rejection.

    • Hahaha – I was so busy that week I really didn’t want to be chosen. But then I was and I was immediately smug about it : ) It actually was riveting. People really do lie under oath. It’s not just on TV. True story.

  29. From now on I am blaming all of my problems on The Industrial Revolution.

    • Duh. I’m so pissed I didn’t think of that myself. I answered with some lame shit about wanting more “training and regulations around gun ownership” in hopes of being cut. Who could have known what I was up against???

  30. Amused as always. Stupid Uber.

  31. Haha, I am not sure how I missed this post…probably because I am currently 357 posts behind in bloglovin…oh well.

    Not sure what county you live in, but when we lived in Fulton county, with, what? a million or so people, I was called and CHOSEN twice. What are the odds? They were both murder cases, sadly, both young black males, and one killed his friend over custom wheels for his car. Wheels…yes. The other one was in the course of a robbery. Each time, I was floored that they picked me, but to your point, I guess my voir dire answers weren’t crazy enough to get me sent home.

    Now, we live in a county with 30,000 total residents, and I haven’t been called in 6 years. And the cases here are much more redneck, and would make much more interesting blog posts. 😀 Maybe someday…

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