The Everyday Life of a Working Artist

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Twelve Angry Men and Women?

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Favorite Boats, Oil, 8" x 10"
I spent my entire day in downtown Los Angeles at the criminal courts building today. My number was up and it was my turn to "serve" on jury duty. I am amazed that when I entered the building at 7:30 am I was determined to get out of it ... when I left at lunch I was intrigued ... and when I left for the day at 4:14 pm I was disappointed that I might not end up on the jury. I can't talk about the case (strict instructions from the judge) but I can tell you that I do not think they will get to me before the 12 chairs are full and the jury is selected. I guess that is fortunate for me, but it is intriguing. I am frightened by the responsibility that this jury will have in determining one man's fate, especially since he is accused of ... well ... a really, really, really bad thing (am I being vague enough?). My favorite part of the jury selection process was when the judge asked "How many of you are either related to or personally know any lawyers?" ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Who doesn't know a lawyer? I think at least ten live on my street. I also can't help but wonder how many of the 55 individuals in the room answered the question honestly when the judge asked "Which of you sitting here has been charged with a crime?" Apparently DUI's are as common as traffic citations these days. And one incident was "so bad" a woman had to tell the judge and attorneys "secretly" what she had been accused of ... now that got me wondering!

Late in the day I was focusing on the ten individuals currently sitting in the jury box ... they all looked a little frightened, scared and intrigued. I can't blame them. This one is a biggie.

Needless to say, since I was being a good upstanding citizen of Los Angeles County today, I didn't find any time to paint. So enjoy an oldie but goodie ...

I am curious if any of you have any interesting "jury duty" stories. Hopefully when this thing is over I can share mine.

5 comments: said...

Well, a jury can be interesting up until deliberation. Then you realize you are in a room with 11 people dumber than 40 waterbuffalo. You should pray you don't get selected and use the time to paint instead of argue.

Like these boats - seems you've been hanging out at the water's edge.

Becky Brocato said...

Serving on a jury is a drag usually. I served on a criminal case back in 2002 (I think). The trial I served on (sexual assault) started on the same day in the same courthouse as the Andrea Yates case. Needless to say, it was a crazy madhouse outside the courthouse with hundreds of news organizations from around the world covering the trial. I had to go three days in a row to downtown Houston, try to find parking, wade through all the news crews trucks, reporters, security, etc. etc. It was an amazing experience.

Anonymous said...

no jury stories sorry but love the paintings, wonderful work. r.

Laurel Daniel said...

Every time I go I get dismissed - they settle out of court or the 12 chairs get filled before they get to me. I do have to say that once after I sat there all day and didn't get picked when my new lunch "friends" did, I was a little disappointed. Talk about the Tom Sawyer principle. As I left I thought, "oh they are going to have so much fun." Insane, I know. I came to my senses as I was driving home... but still...

LSaeta said...

Becky and Laurel - thanks for visiting my blog! I enjoyed your stories and would you believe ... I am an alternate juror! So I have to go and listen to everything yet I don't get to deliberate. Yikes! Oh well, should be interesting.

Rahina - thanks for your kind words about my painting!


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