I’ve sat on, I believe, 23 jury panels since the mid-70s, and have never been picked for a jury. Public defenders do not like me. Just about all of them are politically liberal, and some of them are not the sharpest legal minds around. If you haven’t had the experience, the prosecutor and defense counsel question potential jurors in a process known as voir dire, which is interpreted to mean “speak the truth.” They ask you all sorts of neat stuff about yourself, including any organizations you may belong to.
When I’m asked this question, I smile sweetly and say: “The American Society of Magazine Editors and the National Rifle Association.”
When public defenders hear that last, their eyes pinwheel in their heads, and they think the following:
“Probably reads Mein Kampf on Sundays. Probably collects hangman’s nooses. Probably owns guns. Probably votes Republican. Probably doesn’t care that my client hacked 5 people to death only because he had an unhappy childhood. GET RID OF HIM.”
So then when the challenges come, I see them point at me and know that soon I will be returning to the jury room to do crossword puzzles…and read Mein Kampf.
I would be interested in hearing from any of you who have had similar experiences.