Reverend Mojo's Daily Sermon


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Tuesday, February 2, 2010     Jury Duty as an exercise in futility
(12:37 pm)

Today was the third time I was seated in a jury box, and the third time I've been dismissed as a juror. All three times have been civil cases. I'm almost always likely to be stricken because of my status as a plaintiff in two previous litigations, my experience with chiropractic, my friendship or acquaintance with lawyers, judges, or doctors, my long hair, beard, girth, and the fact I walk with a cane. They should just take one look at me and say, "Go home!" I still have three more days to check in and possibly report. I think my chances of being empaneled are slim to none, but still I play the game.

Today, during voir dire I was called to the bench along with the attorneys. Judge Zakaib asked if I could be impartial and judge the case on its merits and the law, to which I replied, "I believe so." He then asked, "Do you believe you can or do you know you can." I was rather stunned for a moment. After weighing the semantic differences in my mind for a moment, I replied "I know I can." I was stricken with six others shortly thereafter.

When I said that I believed I could and the Judge wanted semantic clarification, I was tempted to offer my philosophical slant on the statement I'd made. Had I said, "I think I can," his question would have been appropriate and expected. However, I said, "I believe I can." In a person's mind, belief is factual. Belief is knowledge. Therefore, the distinction between I believe I can and I know I can is neglegible, if indeed there is a functional difference at all. Asking that question is tantanount to calling into question my faith in my own mind, which I don't apapreciate and I'm sure that the Judge never considered as purely semantics, which it was My answer would have made absolutely no functional difference, but I'm sure if I'd answered other than how I did, his take on it would have been different.

Quote of the Day: "Just like you can buy grades of silk, you can buy grades of justice."

-- Ray Charles

So I'll call in this evening to see if the circuit court will require my services tomorrow, and then again on Wednesday and Thursday and my ordeal in futility will be over. At least for the time being. I'd like to talk to the Circuit Clerk and make a few suggestions. There are some things that they could do differently that would make things more economical and would make the prospective jurors' lives better while they're in the service of the court. Maybe I won't.




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