Saturday, November 06, 2004

juror #169

For two days this week my identity became submerged by a number on a yellow badge. Yes, I was doing my civic duty as a registered voter of the city of St. Louis.

Wednesday morning I had to report at 8 a.m. to a building identified as 10 N. Tucker. For the uninitiated, this is the Civil Courts building that faces Tucker. I, of course, did not know that, and spent a few minutes wandering around the general vicinity of Tucker and Market, among the giant civic buildings, before I figured out where I was to report.

Finally, with my handy badge (#169) I was ensconced with crosswords in the big assembly room. Between juror instruction movies and announcements they played Regis and Kelly Live!!! for us. It was a little too Live!!! for 8 a.m.

Finally #169 was called into a pool of other potential jurors, and we were herded across the street to the Carnahan Building, where we assembled in yet another room (this one with even less character than the first) and allowed to smoke, go to the bathroom and visit the vending machines. People engaged in these acts in order of desperation, depending on physical need and/or addiction.

Then we were shepherded into a large woodpaneled courtroom. Now this is more like it. A courtroom setting worthy of a serious trial. A nation-changing trial, or of a notorious criminal.

Nope. A 22 yr. old young man was being charged under the accessory liability law with Attempted Auto Theft.

I'm running out of time at this computer, so I'll end by pointing out the concept of "burden of proof." As in the state failed to meet it. To be continued.


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