I wanted it so badly. So, so, so, so badly. I finally had been called for jury duty.
I arrived at the courthouse, questionnaire completed, eager to serve. I was one of the first called, beckoned to room 303. Luck of all luck, fate of all fates, I was the original juror number 9. I sat in the chair, so excited. Finally, at 36 years of age, I was honored, I was privileged, to serve on a jury. Having lived in countries where the justice system is perceived to be less than fair, I looked forward to participating in our system, flawed as it may be.
The case was one where a young man solicited an undercover policewoman for sexual favors. Bad choice, dude.
Each of us, all 18, stated our name, our neighborhood, how long we’ve resided in San Francisco, our profession, whether we’ve ever served on a jury before. The people’s lawyer began the questioning. “How do you feel about prostitution?” Not surprisingly, many jurors stated they felt it should be legal. This is San Francisco after all.
The defense began. “What are your thoughts about police officers working undercover?” Juror after juror responded. Finally, she called on me.
“Well. It really doesn’t matter my thoughts about police officers working undercover. What matters is, were they working within the limits of the law? If so, I support their actions. If the police officers were merely providing an environment in which a crime *could* take place, and the individual in question *chose* to solicit for prostitution, which we have established is currently illegal, then the individual should take responsibility for his actions, no matter what the environmental circumstances were. Having said that, however, I absolutely understand that our justice system is based on the premise that an individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty and I can absolutely be a fair and impartial juror in this case. Thank you.”
The defense looked at each other, then turned to the judge.
“We’d like the court to thank and dismiss juror #9.”