Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Juror Nullification

Publicity in private places is not too different from privacy in public places. Cell phone conversations, can be heard, at least half of the conversation, in some strange and unexpected places.

During my most recent wait in the Jury Assembly Room, I sat near a back corner of the room, really the next to the last row of seats, with a thick and interesting book. People were generally quiet back there.

After about twenty minutes, a voice, whispering hoarsely, but striking me as a stage whisper, interrupted my thoughts.

"Are you awake?"

"I'm at the courthouse - jury duty."

"I was afraid I was going to wake you last night when I grabbed you."

My discomfort with eavesdropping grew. I glanced over my shoulder, hoping to let the whisperer know that she was being overheard.

I had to look again, this time more closely.

The whispering continued, but the speaker was out of sight. There was a large coat draped over the corner seat. Under it was the head and upper torso of what sounded like a woman.

"It's okay," she continued, "I'm sitting in the back under my good coat. Nobody can hear us."

I exchanged knowing and amused looks with several of my fellow jurors-to-be and quietly left the area, my modesty over riding my curiosity about the nocturnal grabbing about to be made public in a very private place.


Frank Baron said...

Not sure I could have resisted the urge to pull up a corner of her hiding-coat and say "And then what happened?"

You're a better man than I, Bruce.

Bruce Robinson said...

Fear kept me in my place.

At our age its difficult to measure a man. may i be half the writer you are.