Paul’s Perambulations

April 11, 2007

Unsuitable for jury duty

Filed under: Peace — admin @ 9:34 pm

The following story serves as a reminder that a particular witness can continue to be a witness far beyond the event itself.  Yesterday I spent the whole day at Media Court House undergoing jury duty selection for a murder trial.  When the judge and attorneys queried me about my answers to some of their form questions, my explanations may have helped de-select me, as follows:

What was the crime that I had been convicted of?  “Carrying the message directly to Christian employees of Lockheed-Martin that making weapons that could destroy the world was not a practice that Jesus could approve of.”  What were the crimes that I had witnessed? ”Workers for peace being arrested at the Pentagon and Lockheed-Martin (the world’s largest military producer) for their peaceful civil disobedience.”  What was the maximum penalty for the crime for which I was convicted?  “$500, but after hearing my defense at trial, the judge reduced my fine to $100 and court costs, said he essentially agreed with me except for my method, and shook my hand.”  Why had I said that could not promise to follow the judge’s instructions?  “If there were a significant conflict between the law and my conscience, I would have to follow my conscience.”

 Oh, and I wore a button (next to my juror button) that said “Support the troops.  Bring them home.”

So, no jury duty — makes me think of Arlo Gurthrie and Alice’s Restaurant.  For those of you not old enough (or over-the-hill enough) to know better, that is an iconic song of the 70′s, putting in verse how a Thanksgiving Day misdemeanor (dumping trash illegally because the dump was closed) resulted in the unintended consequence of his being found unfit for the Vietnam draft because of his criminal record.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress