The jury-duty news has been interesting of late.
First we hear that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging a jury’s choice of the death penalty, where the choice was made by consulting a bible. Many of the articles about it give the mistaken impression that the jury decided the man’s guilt based on the bible; they did not (well, maybe they did, but not overtly). They consulted the bible to decide the appropriate punishment, and the bible pointed at death (it seems to do that a lot, and we’re just selective about applying it). Anyway, the defendant’s attorneys have appealed the decision up through the courts, and the Supreme Court has now shut down the appeals. Barring executive intervention, a man will soon be put to death because religious scripture says he should be.
In the United States, mind, not in Afghanistan.
Then we hear that Mr T was called for jury duty. He appeared, doing his duty, and he was considered and then dismissed. I wonder how a defendant would feel, seeing the former pro wrestler in the jury box. And what would the God-fearing Mr T do about referring to the bible in making a decision?
We’ll never know, because he wasn’t chosen. But he didn’t try to get out of it.
Our third guy did, though, try to get out of it. More than trying, he succeeded, but his excessively, um... brusque approach nearly landed him in jail: Erik Slye wrote out an affidavit to the Montana court stating his refusal to serve, and telling them to, in his words, “Leave me the F__K alone.”
No, really. In case you have trouble reading the handwritten affidavit, here’s what it says (errors as in the original):
Apparently you morons didn’t understand me the first time. I CANNOT take time off from work. I’m not putting my familys well being at stake to participate in this crap. I don’t believe in our “justice” system and I don’t want to have a goddam thing to do with it. Jury duty is a complete waste of time. I would rather count the wrinkles on my dogs balls than sit on a jury. Get it through your thick skulls. Leave me the F__K alone.
Contempt of court? I should say. And it gives “swearing an affidavit” new meaning.