JURY DUTY – By Joe Currie (Davin’s Den)

I was able to dodge the bullet for over eleven years, and then two months ago I got a questionnaire and then they got me,,, JURY DUTY uuch.

 When you get jury duty you have to go, if not the Sheriff will kindly bring you.

The first thing that any responsible citizen says when they get jury duty is “How do I get out of this shit”. The old strategy was to walk in and say you hate every one, which everybody used to do so they don’t buy that any more. The second tact that I would use is looking like I should be in front of a jury instead of in one.

I would sit there with a crazed blank look on my face and stare down the prosecutor and the defense attorney and after two hours and it would be “beat it stupid”, and I could go home as they don’t want me there.

I figured I would stroll in, pull old faithful and be back to the day program in no time. ,,,yeah well It’s fun to pretend.

I got called in for Grand Jury duty which is different from a trial jury .A  trial jury hears the case and the Grand Jury hears the evidence and then recommends to indict the case to go to trial.

The first day you sit in a big room, there is no interview they just need ninety two people. As luck would have it , there was exactly ninety two, Great now if my lottery numbers would work that well.

We are brought up into another room where they assign us all to the locations that we will serve at. I have been assigned to the Riverhead court which is way out on the island by the Hamptons. The good news its twenty minutes from my house, yaay, the bad news its now four hours from the show, and three hours from the band’s studio. I tried to make it to the show one night and got there at 8pm, as you know we start at 6:30, so the past couple of weeks I called in from my House, nice but not like being in the studio with Davin and Pip.

You may be saying several weeks how long are you on Jury duty for??? Twenty days, or as I say it TWENTY FUCKING DAYS !!!!! yeah, that’s right Grand Jury duty is twenty fucking days. I had to tell the day program to write me a note saying I’m an inspiration, how can people walk past the monument of me at work and go in knowing I’m not there, the company could go out of business. Apparently my boss was on Grand Jury Duty and knows that you ain’t going nowhere so they told me they will still pay me and enjoy. Very cool move on their part but here I am for twenty days.

When you are on Grand Jury duty you have to wait for the District Attorneys to bring in their cases,  that results in a lot of down time between cases which I use to my advantage to catch up on show stuff, day program stuff, and band stuff. I am actually writing this blog while I am sitting here waiting on a case. Twenty-two of us all sit here and the group of people I am with are actually very cool and we actually enjoy each other’s company. I never mentioned to them that I do a radio show, am a musician, and a comic. Thank god I never told them I’m a comic as all my jokes have fell flat.

My diet has also has seen better days as people bring in food and there is a lot of eating as well as indicting.

We heard a lot of cases; many involve drugs, drunk driving, robbery, and unfortunately child abuse. But when we indict these cases we do feel good that we are bringing these people to justice and they will feel the consequences of their actions.
The biggest problem I had was staying awake, the room is quiet and they have to read the law verbatim and it is enough to lull me asleep. I never got in trouble for it though the girl next to me did.

It is very tough being a comic and not being able to say anything while witnesses are being interviewed with the District attorneys asking the stupidest questions “how did it fell when he punched you repeatedly??? If felt great stupid what do you think. When the man pointed the gun at you what were you thinking?? Wow I don’t know, I was thinking about the laundry and not a slug coming through my chest.

One of the things I will not miss is going through security every morning and afternoon making sure I had no change in my pockets jacket off etc. Most of the guards were cool some treated you like you were the criminals. One of the funniest moments is when some police officers came in for testimony.

The security entrance has four to five court officers, they have guns, uniforms and are no nonsense all business, and when the police officers come in they see them and say “uh oh it’s the cops.

It’s most likely a “you had to be there moment” but for us that were there it was hysterical.

I can’t blame the court officers for their attitude; you have to see all the riff raff that comes through there. And by the way to some of the people that come to court, please come properly dressed, your not going on a rap video you’re going to court and unless snoop dog is the judge that day you may have a problem my schnizzle.  There was also the seventy-year-old Hippy dude with silver hair down to his ass in a tee shirt, wearing paisley leggings. I would of taken a photo and posted it, but taken photos in the court house is illegal, but it would have been worth the fine and jail time as nobody believes me when I tell them.

Even though it was twenty days it did go quick, and what did I learn during those twenty days? Drugs especially heroin is one of the evilest substances on earth, it destroys lives and was at the root of a lot of the cases we heard.

The last case we heard was a guy that was driving drunk with kids in the car which is a violation of Leandra’s law which if you are driving drunk or on drugs, (which he was both) and you have kids under seventeen in the car.it is now a felony. This guy was a piece of shit and there were sixteen counts against him. When the District attorney gave his name and info we noticed that he was born on the day we indicted him. After we had voted yes to true bill of indictment on all sixteen counts the District attorney asked if we had any questions, I said yeah, after you hand him the indictment tell him we said Happy Birthday. Justice served, now leave me alone for another eleven years.

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