12 May 2008

Jury Duty Debrief

Jury Duty.

Two words that strike dread in all but the bravest hearts. A gauntlet of inefficiency, inanity, and ineptitude through which one must pass in order to reach the ultimate goal: getting out of jury duty. For the miserable few who cannot escape the clutches of the system is reserved this eighth circle of hell.

Last week my number was called. Like a character out of Shirley Jackson, I somberly approached my destiny. The fates were not kind.

Selection for our trial spanned two days. Why you may ask? Was this a particularly heinous murder? A complex civil case involving deeply intertwined parties? A social pariah whose time to face terrible sweet justice had come at last? Nah. Just two routine counts of very routine ag-assault. So why two days? His honor likes the sound of his voice.

I'll spare you the boring details. Suffice it to say "he said/she said" isn't really enough to get you beyond reasonable doubt. Especially not when the police investigating the events don't, you know, investigate. It took until Friday morning, but we finished the trial and deliberations and returned our verdicts of not guilty on both counts.

Andrew Thomas, our illustrious1 county attorney, keeps pushing these bullshit cases down the throats of his prosecutors. Andrew Thomas, who's never *tried* a case before, keeps bogging up the courts with cases that can't be won and then grandstands to the press about the courts obstructing the will of the people.

Maricopa county has the county attorney it elected, but even given the very low esteem in which I hold the people of this county, this is not the county attorney it deserves.

1 Wait. That's not the right word. Illustrious...illustrated...animated...cartoon. That's what I meant. Andrew Thomas is a cartoon. He's a cross between Daffy Duck and Foghorn Leghorn without the self-awareness, social grace, or intelligence.