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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 (8/15)

July 3, 1996

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Back again – we sit + wait for the jaws to open and admit us to the 1st full day of the trial. Today, hopefully, we will get a better sense of what exactly is going on: where it is leading, etc.; and today we should meet the remaining primary players: Mr. Shahini foremost amongst them. 

Interesting the way the vast pack has narrowed down to these 14 —-> I’d like to get a sense of my fellow jurors. My fellow alternate is an Indian / Bengali fellow w/thick accent and tentative grasp of the English language. Already the jurors fracture into small groups, pairs, clusters.

→ Quick story about why I think that Dwyer (Ms.) as opposed to Frankel (Mr.) was my advocate in selecting me or at least proposing that I be considered/selected. See Frankel has impressed everyone w/his uncanny grasp of names. He had the entire preliminary Saturday group (25 people?) committed to memory at the start of day yesterday. Could walk around at leisure and engage jurors as (nearly) friends because he knew their names. 

Anyway, when they left + we (the second group) were moved up for questioning, I was curious to see if this talent would extend and carry over. Sure enough, after the break he had us all, for the most part, pinned. Perhaps he spent his lunch hour doing just that, or perhaps he did it the night before… Either way, he was our friend. I say “for the most part” because he had a few minor slip ups, and one major one. When he came to my side of the room, he was checking cursorily: “…and you, Mr. Smith? Do you agree? Mr. Stanley? etc… Mr. Schneider?” He didn’t check w/me, but then he paused. “You ARE Mr. Schneider, aren’t you?”

“Huh! Me?!”

Completely off base with that one. Must be the Jewish thing, altho you would hope that Mr. FRANKEL would be discriminating… So I suppose Dwyer wanted me. Frankel was barely cognizant and it couldn’t have been Hayes after my outburst…

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