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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 (14/15)

July 9, 1996

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→ Later 6pm

A truly unfortunate and somewhat (depending on who speaks) lamentable state of affairs. The judge did not “Charge us with the law” (the final stage before the jury retires) and we were subsequently dismissed for the night. The problem arises in that, while conferring w/another court officer (the court system, btw, has its own law enforcement force, complete w/unique uniforms, guns, etc) while conferring w/one of these officials I was informed in no uncertain terms, that under NO condition would I, as alternate, be allowed… [got to go!]

→ Later Home

… be allowed to participate! That’s it, according to this officer who I quizzed on the subject – end of story. He says he’s done it for 17 years and they never allow alternates entrance. So, the gig is up for me and I must admit that I am sorely disappointed. I feel like I ran the fooking marathon and then walked over the finish line. Or AROUND the finish line. Or simply stopped, just before the line.

Of course all this lamentation is contingent upon  one crucial factor. If, by some miraculous calamity or act of God, TWO jurors never show… I would find myself promoted to full juror with all privileges enjoyed therein… including access to deliberations. More likely I will be relegated to second hand news – calling one of my fellow members. I’ve already picked out who it shall be.


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