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Behaving Judiciously

So Buddy Hackett, a court jester and a tween walk into a courtroom...

This past week was pretty exciting. For two-and-a-half days, my life was a complete blur — and this time it was not because I was . In this instance, the craziness involved a Redskin, a few too
many cocktails and some police intervention.

Or as I like to call it, "my 20s."

Actually, those things were all part of the soap opera known as "the felony trial on which I was a juror." This was the only time in my life I was actually encouraged to judge someone (my sorority years aside), and somehow that made it much less fun. And you know what? Other than lacking the ominous music at the beginning, the neat wrap-up within 50 minutes and no one looking the slightest bit like Benjamin Bratt, it was exactly like Law & Order.

I had never served on a jury, although I had been summoned and dismissed a number of times. So it was interesting to see our judicial system in action and be an integral part of the justice machine. It may not be perfect, but I am proud to be part of a system that deems a defendant innocent until proven guilty, allows everyone a fair trial, and guarantees legal representation to all citizens. Besides, how fun was it to dress up in stylish, courtroom-appropriate outfits every day?

In addition to realizing I hold my civic responsibility in such high esteem, I learned many other things by being part of a jury:

  • The truth should never get in the way of some good misdirection and speculation that confuses at least one juror as to the facts of the case.
    (Looking at you, defense attorney.)
  • When you admit to having a bias against some of the facts in the case thinking it is your ticket to get out of jury duty, you will be mistaken.
  • You can become an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney when you are approximately 15 years old. (Could she be any younger?) 
  • It is hard to focus on an expert witness’ testimony once you note he is Buddy Hackett's doppelgänger.
  • One of the people on our jury had the surname "Jester." Yes, there was a Jester in the court.

The outcome? After five hours of deliberation, the jury deadlocked 11-1 so the Commonwealth is determining whether to retry the case.

Well played, Buddy Hackett.

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