Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Gentle Reminder From the Associated Press

It doesn’t seem possible to Nancy and me that our life in Memphis is over five years in the past now.

I remember the day we looked at houses in January of 1997. The temperature was 73 degrees. It’s hard for me to imagine that now – seventy three in January.

Here in the throes of winter the weather in Memphis seems very appealing. In less than two months the azaleas and forsythia will be in bloom there. The smell of the spring air will be absolutely fragrant.

I know it’s all one of those tricks my mind is playing on me, though. It’s a good thing I read page two of the Kansas City Star today. There was the following blurb from The Associated Press titled “Misbegotten Jury Pool Astonishes Defense Lawyer” which I’ll quote in its entirety:

“MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Defense lawyer Leslie Ballin called it the “jury pool from hell.”

The group of prospective jurors was summoned last week to listen to a case of trailer park violence.

Immediately after jury selection began, one man got up and left, announcing “I’m on morphine, and I’m higher than a kite.”

When the prosecutor asked if anyone had been convicted of a crime, a prospective juror said he had been arrested and taken to a mental hospital after he almost shot his nephew. He said he had been provoked because his nephew just would not come out from under the bed.

Another would-be juror said he had alcohol problems and had been arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer. “I should have known something was up,” he said. “She had all her teeth.”

Another prospect volunteered that he probably should not be on the jury: “In my neighborhood, everyone knows that if you get Mr. Ballin (as your lawyer) you’re probably guilty.” He was not chosen.

The case involved a woman accused of hitting her brother’s girlfriend in the face with a brick. Ballin’s client was found not guilty.”

- The Associated Press

Ah yes, the smell of azalea and forsythia will fill the Memphis air soon now. But thanks to the Associated Press I’m not deceived. Here in middle of this Kansas winter I know once again why we left.


Anonymous said...

The last time I was called to jury duty was in the early 90's. Referred to a court room, a number of us waited patiently to be interviewed by the opposing lawyers.

One of the attorneys noted that I was retired and wondered what I was doing in my daily life. Among other things I mentioned that I had taken 8 short-term lay-missionary trips to Central America (4), Russia (2), and one each to South Korea and Israel.

When the lawyers concluded, the judge wanted to speak with me. When I responded, the judge asked me if I was a Christian. I said yes. He then said, "Can you be fair?" I said, "Being fair is the name of the game."

I have not served on a jury since that moment.

a Choicemaker
Psalm 25:12

+ + +

Tom Reindl said...

Phil, I really enjoyed the clip, and this post. Thanks for the smiles you brought me.

Jexebel said...

Wow. Sounds just like my neighborhood.