You, the Juror!

Okay, while like Natalie Portman and like Angelina Jolie were serving on the Cannes Festival jury, I was like on a Brooklyn jury, and it was actually alternately exciting, life-affirming, and completely, mind-bogglingly dull. I dug the juror selection process, because you get grouped with people you’ve never seen before and they mix it up for a crazy diversity. Unfortunately, the case involved drugs and murder, and so people were trotting out their stories when the judge asked — the ponytailed MFA student confessed his anti-cop attitude (big surprise there) and drug addict older brother; another hipster talked about his father being murdered; another tough looking Latino dude burst into tears after he said his mother and fiancee were killed on the same day. It’s just…humbling, you know? People you don’t even know carry a lot of suffering for them, so it definitely put my work stress in perspective (though does not excuse Darth Vader screaming at me, I promise).

I have nothing profound to say about the experience except that I prayed for it — I need a mental break from work and I got it with three weeks of jury duty (and I think Darth Vader secretly senses that). I’ve got an inner four-year-old, so the newness of serving was very exciting. When we watched the video, I was all “Look, that’s Ed Bradley! Look, that’s Diane Sawyer! Look, non-union actors in Renaissance Fair clothes!”

But other than that, nothing profound. I only left with these thoughts — listening the evidence gets tedious too, and poor, uneducated boys shooting each other blows, some lawyers exit law school more retarded, and talking to the other jurors was very interesting but we’ll probably never see each other again.

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