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In July of 1996, Jay Levine sat on the jury of a small criminal case in New York City. It involved two separate yet equally important groups: The police, who investigated the crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecuted the offenders. These are their stories. DUN DUN!

Jury Duty i (7/15)

July 2, 1996

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Here is our cast:

Mr. Hayes – Prosecutor
William Moore – Defendant
Roam Lucky – Defendant
Your Honor Bradley – Judge
Ms. Dwyer – Defense (Lucky)
Mr. Frankel – Defense (Moore)

And a remarkable thing has come to pass: I have been selected. I do not necessarily intend “remarkable” in the sense of propitious; more unpredicted. First, there were so many to choose from – simple #s were against the likelihood. Second, the fact of my earlier and unprompted utterance seemed to increase the odds of a peremptory prosecutorial dismissal). Anyway, I was, in fact, selected as 2nd alternate, which in many ways could be the supreme situation. This way I am allowed to follow the case through start to finish as I had hoped. It will be a short case – concluding Monday or Tuesday. AND, as alternate, I will, in all likelihood, be spared the possibly painful decision-making process. On the neg side, I am not fully engaged and perhaps will not experience the full emotional + intellectual journey and impact. On the other hand (is that the first hand again?) it perhaps allows me a degree of distance to observe + reflect. Also, as I mentioned, the whole single-witness aspect lends itself to a potentially awkward jury room finalé that I don’t necessarily wish to be part of . And there’s always the possibility of taking the place of a sick or otherwise indisposed juror.

The funny thing is how I keep slipping in by the slimmest margin. When they called us to be sat for preliminary questioning, I was dead last and relegated to the furthest corner. When they called out the picked jurors, again I was dead last – 2nd alternate. 

So, tomorrow at 10am begins the 1st day of the trial. Come to think of it, I just have been Roam Lucky’s draw because the other prosecutor had zero interest in me. Mr. “Name-Man” even entirely flubbed my name, since… [oops, outa here].

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