That’s right. You can’t handle the truth. But the truth is that I know. I know beyond a reasonable doubt…
I was on a jury for a trial this past week. Shocking, right? Apparently they felt that my celebrity wouldn’t disrupt the trial proceedings too much. Actually, as the trial was going on, before the judge dismissed the jurors each evening he reminded us not to talk to anyone about the trial and not to share details of the trial on “social media such as Facebook, MySpace, or blogs.” I won’t give any specific information about the trial participants or charges here. I will however make fun of some aspects of the experience that I found humorous.
I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this, but I’m probably not like other people. For years now I’ve yearned to be on a jury. I came close once. This time however, I was chosen pretty quickly. When they called our names I was the second one and I literally had to restrain myself from fist bumping the woman next to me.
My joy was further extended when, in giving the chosen ones a talking to about the gravity and importance of our task, the judge became only the third adult I’ve ever heard to reference my favorite historical document, the Magna Carta. The first adult since my high school social studies teacher, Mr. Hampton, to reference it was me in my Nov. 2014 post Ten Useless Things We Learned in School. My excitement about my Magna Carta involvement was somewhat tempered when I found out that being a juror does not mean that we get to sign the Magna Carta.
But Phil, you’re saying, give us the details, the crime, the C.S.I evidence. We want the good stuff! First off, the real crime is that the Baha Men didn’t have more long term commercial success, and yes, that is related to the trial. I do feel fortunate however to have been witness to one of the greatest moments in legal history, fictional or otherwise. First, my favorite moments in legal history are:
1) In the 1947 classic Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street, when Fred Gailey has the post office deliver the Dear Santa letters to Santa Claus in the courtroom. Genius! I want him as my lawyer.
2. From the 1992 movie A Few Good Men, the exchange between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson that contains “You can’t handle the truth!”
3. From 1992’s My Cousin Vinny, “the two yutes…”
And now, for your consideration, I’d like to add the following to the list of greatest moments in legal history:
This is an actual exchange I witnessed in the courtroom between a cross examining defense attorney and a sworn under oath witness:
Attorney: So, you let the dogs out?
When that happened, in my mind I pictured myself jumping up from my seat in the jury box and thrusting my fist skyward and “Yes! We finally know!” I didn’t do that, however I did look around at my fellow jurors to see if anyone else was trying to suppress a smirk. And nobody was. Then, the next day during deliberations I requested that the court transcriptionist read back a section of testimony that contained the exchange, not to hear the exchange again, but to refresh our memories on other details. Nothing. No reaction . That’s when I thought to myself, this is definitely not a jury of my peers. How many of you would have heard it the way I did?
You may not think much of this post, but damn, I referenced the Magna Carta, great movie courtroom moments, and possibly the catchiest song ever. It’s hard to beat that kind of entertainment and variety. If you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor feel free to share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace button below. (Don’t look. There’s no MySpace button, but I laughed in my head when the judge said MySpace in court) Have a great weekend! ~Phil
for this one, I will simply leave an old blog post of mine in the comments:
I guess I just don’t see the beauty,
Of attending jury duty,
But if in such a way my time must while,
I’ll surely not sit for a trial.
So I’d like to take this chance,
To apologize in advance,
For what tomorrow may occur,
To be construed as a racial slur.
For although no one is deserving,
There’s no way in hell I’m serving.
I’m glad you kept it all in your head otherwise we would be crowdfunding your bail right now.
One juror didn’t keep everything in her head. As soon as the trial concluded and the judge verbally dismissed us, a female juror stood up in court, pointed at the defendant and said, ” You’re an asshole.” Very exciting.
Ha ha ha. It would be great if we all did that to assholes.
I worry sometimes about the things going through my head making it past my lips – the ‘did I say that out loud?’ moments. Sounds like I’m in good company.
I didn’t see the whole series of Twin Peaks, for whatever reason, (I think I lost the plot with it!) but I always remember being freaked by the dancing scene behind curtains and that weird music worming its way into my brain. Bit like the way ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ became an earworm. Good on you for not smirking out loud. 🙂
Your description of how the music and scenes in Twin Peaks freaked you out a bit is exactly what I’ve heard a lot of people say.
I know I would have had a hard time restraining myself from saying out loud “That’s what she said!” on every possible occasion…
I wish we had jury duty over here, I would most certainly attend. To me it’s like voting. Unless we hold public or juridical office, this is our chance to be part of the system and do something instead of always complaining about it. Plus, it’s such great blog fodder, how could you not…
As an English major, I heard the Magna Carta referenced a lot in college. I have, however, only ever met two adults (both professors) who have used “notwithstanding” in a sentence. And I proudly became the third.
Like you, I have to admit I’ve always harboured a desire to serve on a jury. Lucky dog! 😉