I was recently called to jury duty at a Federal Court in Los Angeles. Because it is a Federal Court for the Southern California District, I would have had to go to downtown Los Angeles to serve -- a distance of over ten miles. As I was without a car at the time, that would have required me getting up very early – I was expected to report at 7.45 am—and traveling in the dark by two busses and a subway. I’ve attended jury selection before in my area, and because there is a State Court in downtown Beverly Hills, a short distance from where I live, easily walked to from where I live, this had never been a problem before. However that would not be a solution this time.
As the weeks toward my proposed service neared, I found myself becoming more and more annoyed. I could, if needed, solve that car problem. I could even bear to take that public transportation and since I’m a senior, complain about the four hour travel time if I was selected and see what happened.
So no, that wasn’t the problem. That wasn’t what was getting me riled up. But something was, and every time I thought about it, I became angrier and angrier. This was very much unlike me: I’m an easy going guy; perhaps too much so for my own good. So what was going on?
Then I happened to read an op-ed piece in the LA. Times. It was about Global Warming, but it began with the writer speaking about her stint at jury duty and how simple that had been because, unlike the many complexities of Global Warming, she and the other jurors had been given a clear cut rule on what the law was they would have to apply to their case by a judge.