Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Civic Duty

Many years ago, my name must have been on the "This Woman Loves Jury Duty" list!  I served on three jurys in a short period of time!  I got very tired of finding someone to tend my children, being a guest speaker in Camille's fourth grade class, and listening to every lame excuse that others were given as to why they couldn't serve; "I have a real bad gas problem, your honore, you won't want me here!"  That guy was excused while the rest of us breathed a sigh of relief. 

The following year, my name came up again!  This time it was for a murder case that had been appealed because of a jury malfunction.  The case was that of a man who snuck in to his ex-in-laws basement and shot the boyfriend of his ex-wife.  It had been in the papers for weeks and had turned our small Utah town into a little Chicago! (no offense)

We met in the court room while the judge explained to all the jury candidates that he was going to take extra precaution in selecting the jury.  There was not going to be another appeal and the defendant deserved a fair trial!  Fair trial!!!  I knew the man was guilty of murder!  I had formed that opinion the first time I read about it in the paper.  His ex-wife hadn't forgotten what he looked like and knew it was him standing there shooting her boyfriend! 

We met in the judges chambers one by one.  When my name was called, I stepped in, had a seat and looked around the room.  The judge, the defense attorney, the prosecuting attorney and Mr. Smiley (the murderer) were seated in there with me.  The defendant was wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a RED tie! 

My thoughts immediately turned to the blood that had been spilled on the basement floor.  "Murderer!", I thought to myself.

The judge asked me questions.  Then stated that the trial would last at least 2 weeks and asked if there would there be a problem with my being gone for 2 weeks from my family. I opened up my Franklin Day Planner, then turned to the judge and said, "This Thursday is Stake Lagoon Day!  My kids would MURDER me if we don't go!"   I was shocked!  Did I really say, "murder"?  The judges eyes got big then he had a hint of a smile.  He excused me and told me to wait outside his chambers.  After a few minutes, I was summoned back in.  "Mrs. L", (you'd think we would have been on a first name basis after all the times I served with him!) "I'm going to excuse you.  We certainly don't want another murder trial on our hands!"  Red faced, I picked up my trusted Franklin Planner, thanked him, avoided eye contact with the red-tied murderer and quickly left the court house.

I did a heel click outside on the steps!


Teachinfourth said...

Open mouth, insert both feet, walk gracefully away.

I smiled reading this.

Valerie said... could teach a class about how to gracefully get out of jury duty! :) Funny stuff, Connie!

DeNae said...

Well told, Connie!!

(And in answer to your question over at my place, it's '"crazy"!'. Ronda even e-mailed me and said, "I'm sorry! You were right!" I may be a virtual unknown, but by gum, I can punctuate!!)

gigi said...

Funny. Here you are not suppose to have Jury Duty more than once in a year. I always get chosen to serve and so does my family. They've all served at least once on jury duty. My oldest just served 6 months of Federal Grand Jury. He loved it.

Tracy said...

For real??!! You really should write a book!! You are hilarious!!

Loved this little story!!

Camille said...

It's true - we hold Stake Lagoon Day with high regard! :)

I wish I knew judges that were as understanding as yours.

Valerie said...

That is HILARIOUS!!! Thanks for making me laugh this morning!

Kerin said...

You crack me up :)
A bit of advice that I've received from people in law inforcement is to walk in and say " He's guilty".
They will let you off every time:)
Sounds like it works like a charm!
You have gumption woman!!
Have a wonderful day!

Kazzy said...

LOL I love it! Way to go.

Ann Marie said...

Dude.. I am dying!!!

Who thought Stake Lagoon Day could be the out for Jury Duty??

I haven't been chosen to do it.. yet. But-- I'm sure my day will come. :)

You are so fun Connie.
I'm grateful we are friends!

Garden of Egan said...

Wow. You must be livin' right. You get out of jury duty for LD?????

Have a blast.

Darla Adams said...

Actually having worked for the court system I know the importance of having good civic minded people on juries. But I also know what a pain it is to be off for these and sometimes it is very distressing depending on the trial. So two months ago I received my notice to serve, but I didn't actually see the notice for about a week (mail often get's tucked away in my house, that is another story). I filled out the paperwork and in my mind mailed it. In reality I just found it yesterday in my computer bag unmailed. Opps... I considered sending it in with a note of "sorry this is so late; add me to next quarter's list".

Yvonne said...

I busted out laughing when I read what you said to the judge--TOO FUNNY. (Sure beats the gas excuse ; )

KC said...

That is HIL.AR.I.OUS! I remember when I came to Idaho to see you guys and you would get out your planner to write down all the kids schedules. I bet you were glad you did that! LOVE the Franklin Planner!

Jenny said...

LOL, now that is a good way to get out of jury duty. Making a Note to self.... if you mention the word "murder" at a murder trial, you don't have to serve.

How was stake Lagoon day?

Valerie said...

hahaha! I still haven't been called to serve once.

Cherie said...

Connie you sure have had some laughable experiences!! I enjoy you so much :D

Anonymous said...

Ohmy! That is sooo funny!! I love it. A little slip never did anyone so much good!

Cindy Geilmann said...

Connie, that is so cool that you've served on Jury's. I would love to, but I always get turned down because my husband is an attorney.

Come over and visit me at, we are having another give-a-way.

cindy@stitches and auntelsies

GRAMEE said...

I am glad your kids didn't have to worry about murder..
neither did the judge.. lol

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Connie Thank you so much for coming by and seeing me girl...I love to see new visitors...May you have a GREAT Mother's day...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Dana said...

Thanks for the comment on my Twins blog! I am embarrassed to say, I accidentally left MY comment from my family blog. I have a more public blog under this name...oopsie! But, I love this story, made me laugh and its been a loooooong week, I needed that! Thanks!

Natalie said...

What a funny story. I love reading your blog.
By they way, I loved your tribute to motherhood. How true, how true are those feelings.

Sunshine and Shadows said...

That is too funny. I'm glad you didn't have sit on that jury. I would have a hard time sitting through a murder trial because of all I would see and hear.