Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A JURY OF ONE'S PEERS



scroll down for updates!!

Place of alleged jury duty? Newark, New Jersey

Time? Now

Intent? Execution of Democracy.

Objective Log:  (All times Ante Meridiem)

7:45 Insertion of smaller Blaiser into hostile Middle School Walking Territory Achieved, after driving onto the sidewalk to soften up the defenses.

8:05 Blinding sun during east-bound drive results in the regrettable loss of life for three unidentified small mammals. Recommend dusting for prints.

8:09 Within the perimeter of directed destination. Instructions on parking, however? Not discernible from my point of origin. Filing warrant to request wire-tap on Superior Court’s coffee-break room for intel.

8:12 Multiple court houses in same area, in which it is a misdemeanor, while driving, to turn left. Under Blaiser’s Rules of Engagement, I take the first lot within a 2-block radius.  Getting any closer will tie me up until lunch.

8:13 Vehicle abandoned with foreign national “parking attendant.” Weighing asset potential.

8:14 First Security Checkpoint. Make it through with credit cards undetected.

8:14:05 Wrong Building.

8:15 uphill sprint to on-time rendez-vous point: Correct Court House (submit on-call password in comment section below for exact GPS location).  Link-up team must not have made it out of Teterboro. Assumed private-jet traffic jam on tarmac.  No contractors for back-up; will have to go it alone today. Adjust pens and pencils accordingly.

8:15:45 Second Security Checkpoint: Second irradiation of leftover pastitsio lunch. Have gone with the Greek food as a red herring to both prosecution and defense.

8:15:53 Line to check-in counter winds baaaaaaaack through a poorly lit hallway. On-time arrival has placed me in 132nd place.

8:17 Line moving impressively fast. Blood sample submitted in exchange for wireless access.

8:20 Surveillance of fellow “jurors” reveals much about their character, as revealed by shoe choice.  A man three people in front of me clearly is a judicial moron—from the looks of it, he though the Sicilian Defense meant it was ok for him to wear Camo shorts and leather flip-flops.

8:25 Credentials scanned and foreign-national parking stub inspected. Great amusement when interrogator is asked if only the court parking lot tickets can be validated.

8:25:05 Democracy has cost me at least $15 in parking today.

Sidebar: Anyone in Essex County who tells you that the first day includes free parking is clearly committing fraud. Researching Citizen Arrest Procedure. Considering extraditing self to Park Slope, Brooklyn, for tomorrow. Collateral damage: Girlfriend ecstatic; ex-wife homicidal.

9:13 a disembodied voice informs our holding cell that video indoctrination will commence. Relying on A Clockwork Orange-inspired training to countermand subliminal manipulation.

Filed from Superior Court Holding Tank, 9:15 a.m.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Second Filing:

9:20 Video plays. A palpable sense of serenity floats up from most of my peers. A smiling woman tells us that voir dire is French for "say the truth." This is when the respective lawyers in a case choose the jury. Most of us will be excused during the voir dire  phase. She also says there are various ways one can be dismissed, and not to take it personally if we're kicked out by a lawyer with no reason given. Both sides can do that, but there are limits on how often, like when tennis players have three chances per set to challenge the ruling of the line judges, or in the case of Serena Williams, to stab them.

9:25 The fake jurors in the jury indoctrination video are dressed better than 90% of my fellow practitioners of civic awareness.

9:30 The video instructs us not to listen to discussions in the hallways, lest our impartiality be contaminated with….. information.

9:32 Not for nothing, but our orientation video is  already up to the judge’s instructions to the jury prior to deliberations. By this time in any Laws & Order franchises, the M.E. has barely even cut into the stiff.

9:34 Video automatically re-starts. Tactic of repetitive indoctrination in action. Two “jurors” flee the room, clearly moles. Disembodied voice instructs people in other room to stay seated. Captain has not turned off seatbelt lights. No one but me seems to notice.

9:35 Actual announcement from actual person. Actual person walks out and yells to confederate: “He’s still got it running!!! It’s still on!!!.” An error detected. Note to self to exploit later, when possible. Perhaps a bribe for extra bathroom time. Will weigh options.

9:38 Orientation nearly complete. Again with the parking ticket validation – they’re just taunting me at this point.

9:40 We will apparently be mailed checks from Trenton. Not sure what they think they're buying. Certainly not parking.

9:41 If we're out in the main jury holding area, lunch will be from 12--1:30 and then we're done at 4. If we're in a courtroom, some judges apparently go to.... gasp.... 4:30. I may need to apply for a job here.

9:43 There's free coffee and tea, we're told, no doubt laced with fluoride. They’re after my precious bodily fluids. George C. Scott had it right.

9:45 We're free to stretch our legs and move about the cabin.....

9:45:07 Line for fluoridated coffee and tea now 45 peers deep. I take a cough drop to preserve my strength. 

10:20 The first wave of jurors are announced over the PA. There are about 30 of them. We all wonder if they'll ever return. I decide to infiltrate free coffee and tea area and canvas for intel. May also secure use of "rental locker" for the pastistio, except that it costs a quarter that then gets refunded later. Sounds Socialist.

MORE TO COME....

10: 45 --- Caught a case in round three -- off I go, but not before weakening substantially to free coffee. Into courtroom now where laptop certain to be confiscated...!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11:45 We took 40 minutes to answer (get walked-through) a 17-question questionaire. Also found a friendly in the bailiff, who allowed me to keep my ......wait a minute, of course he wanted me to keep it -- ensures the fluoridation.

Given a 20-minute break, I sussed out the Cafeteria and had a massive pancake and some bacon, special order, 'cause they had closed the grill. May have found ally in the grill guy. Will make Cafeteria primary escape route, or at least have lunch there. Acquired plastic ware for the pastitsio.

Cannot, of course, disclose anything about the case, other than it's criminal. And it's criminal that none of my peers had the initiative to seek out the pancakes. Without backup, cramming calories seemed the logical choice.

Fluoridated coffee not taking effect yet.

We're back on time, but the court isn't ready. Judge must have gone for two pancakes.

MORE TO COME....!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(All times henceforth are Post Meridiem)

1:30 ---- And, mere moments after that last post, I, along with 20 others, were excused from the case and sent back to Peer Holding. Peer Holding told us to take lunch for the next 90 minutes -- and this after having just finished our 20-minute break to assuage the exhaustion from completing the 17-question question-thingy. This jury duty thing is starting to resemble certain work calls I've been a party to...


1:34 ---- and I took lunch, thank you very much, and updated no blogs until now. Know why? Because I'm my own damn Blaiser. There were serious Facebook threads to attend to--on issues like who gets to call whom terrorists, and why Anderson Cooper can't stop making the story about him.

1:36 --- "Free" coffee appears to mean "until it's gone," here in the judicial catacombs of Newark, New Jersey. Fair and balanced enough. The cafeteria has reasonable prices and friendly help (and an express lane to the parking deck, where an operative might make, shall we say, a purposeful retreat).  Also observed the defendant and his attorney from the case that bounced me, and have decided beyond a reasonable doubt that although the brother dresses better than I do, he's GUILTY, GUILTY GUILTY!

1:40 -- in the "computer lounge" where I have decided, in a sense of fluoridated solidarity, to serenade my peers with my Baroque Magique iTunes channel. It will help to neutralize the highly annoying clicks and beeps coming from my next-cube-neighbor's electronic device.

1:44 Some guy in the next row is snoring. Or has succumbed to some kind of juris coma. Cell phone lady continues a litany of noise-making that has expanded into a bag of chips, and an extremely loud scarf. If the Bach proves an insufficient counter-measure, I'm considering an incursion.


______________________________________________________________________

1:58 -- I narrowly avoid having my name called for the first wave of apres-dejeuner administrative fodder jurors. My ever-considerate neighbor is now folding the cellophane bag that contained the bag of chips slowly..... I realize that Grandpa's money clip, which has a very, very small blade, somehow snuck its way into my narrow-wale chords for a joyride and made it past security.  It occurs to me that I  could be making better use of my time--and the court's--by opening a large stack of mail.

2:17 -- High point of the afternoon thus far -- our judicial handlers just got on the horn, on behalf of a peer, and solicited change for a $20. Five of us responded within seconds. Has to be the pre-arranged signal they told me about in Langley. In the next five minutes, if we are not all Facebook friends, I'll know I've been made and will have to initialize Beta protocol, or in its unclassified name, "Go To The Bathroom."

3:03 -- just noticed the wall clock here is stuck permanently at 10:41:47.  How long have I been here? A day? A week? Must research these numbers as they relate to "Lost."

3:03:45 -- Especially since one of the guys in my courtroom group looked suspiciously like John Locke, sans knife.

3:27     EMANCIPATION!!!!! Doneski. And a small wistful feeling --- after all, if I were one of the accused, I'd want me for a juror......

I'm a little suspicious, but I'm heading out. Definitely watching "Lost" tonight. If no one hears from me in about 45 minutes, please accost all foreign-national parking attendants you may encounter with the following code words:

El bailff no lleva los pantalones!!!!!

Thanks for reading, and as always, please remember that in the event of an emergency, your attorney, located under your seat, may be used as a personal flotation device.

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