When you go to the federal courthouse for jury duty and sit down with 27 other potential jurors in front of a judge, a few attorneys, and a handicapped black man on a federal gun possession charge, and you get to know these 27 other people as equals, or at least variants of the same criteria—borough/town of residence, length of residence, education, work, marital status, children or other people living in the household, hobbies, newspapers, magazines, TV, or blogs you follow—and then the judge asks a few questions relevant to the case like Have you ever been a victim of a violent crime? and Have you or anyone in your family been incarcerated? and you raise your hand and say Yes, my father was incarcerated, and the judge asks For what? and How long? and you respond, Drug trafficking, and I’m not sure, I was a child then, knowing this will get you off this trial, and you feel that same admixture of relief and rejection when your name is called for dismissal knowing you’ll never see these people sharing this moment and these criteria with you again, and wonder if tomorrow you’ll say the same thing for the next jury because, after all, he’s no longer even legally your father, you don’t have to tell them anything. But you know you will. You always do.

What are the Sneaky Feels?

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AuthorJohn Proctor