Jury Doodie

jury dutyThis morning I opened my mailbox and discovered they had found me again.  The government seal that marked the outside of the letter confirmed my suspicion.  The yellow forwarding address that had been taped over the envelope by the post office to confirm my new address just stood to prove that there was no stopping these guys.  Once again, I had been summoned for Jury Duty.

Now, I know that sounds harmless, but first let me explain my personal history with that of the United States Judicial system before you make any judgments.   This is my fourth time being selected for Jury Duty.  That’s right, four!  That means I have received the call to duty about once every other year since becoming a registered voter. I know people who have eluded their local court system for over 30 years.  I’m not even 30 years old.  I realize that the selection process is supposed to be random.  In fact, the clerk is kind enough to type that information out in the letter every single time.  Apparently, I am not the only one feeling cheated.  I have since come to realize that there is a mathematical translation to the word “random” and a legal translation.  The legal one has a little wiggle room like everything else in the justice system.

Of course, I can’t say I’ve ever actually served on a Jury.  In fact, every time I’ve been summoned there have been extraordinary circumstances preventing me from performing my civic duty.  The first time I was summoned I was a student in my home state of Oregon, which automatically granted me exemption.  You would think that Her Highness the Jury Fairy would have learned from this experience. Unfortunately, semantics don’t seem to slow the process down.  The second time my presence was requested in court I was still a student, busy completing my internship out-of-state.  My third time occurred here in Washington, post-graduation.  True to form, I happened to receive the notice during the busiest time of year at work while we were short-handed due to an employee being out on maternity leave.  I was able to claim undue financial hardship as well as extreme inconvenience for the physician who employs me.  As for this particular time, the letter couldn’t have come at a more convenient occasion.  Not only are we short one employee at work who is out on medical leave, but also that other employee who came back from maternity leave is now only working part-time.  Thank you municipal court.  You’ve really outdone yourself this time.

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I became very curious as to why my insight was deemed so much more important than all you other mindless goons who have never been tracked down and tagged by Big Brother.  Like any other concerned citizen, I reacted by sitting down and doing 2 hours of research and a few statistical math problems.  Now I understand it.  You see the jury selection process is very deliberate.  These people really care about their demographics.  It’s a part of that whole “jury of your peers” thing they keep trying to convince us exists.  So, I decided to find out just how special I was as a number.

I started with a flat number.  According to the 2011 census, there are 750 citizens of my county in my age group of 25-34.  Using the average percentage of females in my county that equates to about 377 women in my age group.  Using the average percentage of people >25 years old with a bachelor’s degree, that shrinks my category down to 89.03 women of similar status.  Of course, only registered voters are included in the selection process.  Using the percentage of registered voters in my particular county (54.8%) that brings the number of women in my select group down to 48.8.  Comparing that to the overall population of the county, that would mean I represent .006% of the population.  Lucky me.

So it seems I am doomed to be hounded by the powers that be for quite some time.  I had no idea what a rarity I was in my little corner of the world.  Now if only those other 47.8 bitches would step up to the plate.  It’s their turn at bat.

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