This is my Thursday: called in for a grand jury. We shall see how it goes. I am of course prepared from popular culture so I will rail about Magna Carta dying in vain, talk knowledgeably about my ‘lawyer acquaintance downtown’ and declare that you can’t handle the truth or that the whole damn system is out of order, in my finest Marlene wardrobe. I figure if I get in, it’s research. Could be interesting for sure. If I don’t — well, let’s be honest: a crime writer with a PhD is not going to appeal to a lot of defence lawyers (maybe I should read a romance novel to look innocent). I will have done my duty and I am rather curious, so let’s see how it goes. Don’t forget, also upcoming appearances of a more public nature: the first on Saturday at noon with my Sisters in Crime: And the limited space is getting more limited for this workshop: HOW TO KEEP WRITING WITH A FULL TIME JOB Sat Feb 7: 10am-1pm Universal Pathways, Berne NY Cost: $50 Register here. UPDATE: Dismissed! 😦 I am already home. They had us all there, the DA talked to us and the jury commissioner, they explained how the grand jury is different from a trial jury, i.e. that we would meet once a week until May 23rd and only a quorum (at least 16 of the 23) would have to be there each week. Since I have a ticket to leave May 12th I asked if it was possible to work around that and they said yes.
Then we went through the people who were most urgent in need of excusing for whatever reason and they went one by one. We still had too many jurors so they needed to eliminate more. “Who’s the traveller?” I raise my hand. “All right, you can go.” And that was it.
We met in the newly renovated jury room. Apparently there were a lot of renovations going on. “It snowed in the men’s room last week!” A huge beige panel with IN GOD WE TRUST in enormous silver letters glowered over us. Perhaps I’ll have to drop by the courthouse for some research.