Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Justice Jim Norton presiding...

Well I can't take photos here but the Judge looks like comedian Jim Norton, and sounds a bit like him too. Very entertaining judge, I must say. Professional but funny. He began by giving us the spiel about jury duty being the right, privilege and duty of citizenship, and how it would give us "depth."

He compared it to traveling the world. It was an experience that would give us "depth," like visiting other cultures. Thanks Judge-O, but I'll take the trip to Fiji over this awful coffee and the roach coach food. I walked to the cafeteria in the Hall of Records because the new court building, with its laptop room and free WiFi, flat screen TVs and comfy chairs lured me into believing it might not be a state-run school-style hell hole. I was mistaken. I took one look at the steam trays laden with dried out drumsticks, breaded and smotherd hockey pucks of mystery meat, and sausage and peppers resembling severed rotten fingers in seaweed, and hightailed it out of there.

Outside was Tony's lunch truck, with his awnings precariously held up by plywood beams and "Notary Public" in script on the side. I'll take an Italian hot dog and please notarize these documents for me, T. Maybe you can sell me bail bonds in between slinging burgers, while you're at it. Expert defense with my Taylor Ham on a roll. I guess it makes sense outside a courthouse.

Judge Norton dismissed me for reasons I am not at liberty to discuss, but some fat dreadlocked guy is probably going to be somebody's bitch at Rahway in a few weeks. The judge was a frustrated comedian and had us chuckling, not so funny for the defendant I imagine. He had a lawyer who looked like Raul Julia in a 50's era Cuban suit like he was working the Havana deal with the Corleones, so maybe he has a chance.

I imagine we'll be sent home for the day soon, its 2:30 and I haven't been called up for another trial yet. I must say Judge Norton roused my civic spirit with his speech about how trial by jury is something we should be glad to have. I'm not so sure. Look around and count 12 people you know, would you like your life in their hands? Especially on trials with news exposure. Your life entrusted to someone who'd rather watch QVC than know what's happening in the world. How the hell did they get jurors for the OJ trial? From the moon? Maybe we need expert jurors, make half of them bleeding hearts and half Archie Bunkers, led by Henry Fonda. Now we've got 12 clueless men, so angry ones might not be so bad.

Good news! They sent us home for good. So tomorrow you only have to deal with one post, instead of me blabbing boredly on my blackberry all day.


Rob L. said...

My brother is good friends with Jerry Capeci's daughter.

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