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It's all about me

I was going to do a post today about a decision last week on sexual predators, but I figured if I write one more screed on that subject, like I did here, here, and here, I'm going to wind up with the sex crimes squad parked out in front of my house.  So instead, we'll spend the day talking about one of my favorite subjects.  Me.

As I'd mentioned earlier in the week, my birthday was on Monday.  Since it's a practice in our family -- well, with me -- to celebrate the event over a month-long period, much as was traditional with the old Kings of England, My Bride and I went out for dinner on Wednesday.  It might have gone a bit better had the waitress not rushed to our table as we were finishing off the sockeye salmon to breathlessly announce, "The Chrysler Building just exploded!" an item she'd gleaned from an urgent bulletin just put up by CNN on the TV above the bar.  Well, not so much, as it turned out...  Yet another reason why I would rather shove a pencil into my ear canal than spend my time watching television news.

One nice note about the week, though.  Our lovely receptionist, who is responsible for ensuring that the birthday of everyone in the office is dutifully observed, had forgotten mine for the past two years.  She made up for it this year, getting a cake which was to die for:  some yellowcake/chocolate mixture, with buttercream and fudge frosting....  I had a trial on Monday, and we did the voir dire after lunch.  I told the jurors about the my birthday and the cake, and that I would have brought them some, but didn't want to be accused of jury tampering.  And yes, I really did tell them that.

Speaking of juries, in addition to that voir dire, I'd also reviewed the transcript of a month-long trial the week before, which included a voir dire that had taken six days.  That got me thinking of things that people say to get them excused from the panel for cause.  Which led me to this story, about a Massachusetts man who sought to evade service by filling out a questionnaire claiming that he was prejudiced against homosexuals and blacks.  The judge's questioning in voir dire went like this:

"You say on your form that you're not a fan of homosexuals," Nickerson said.

"That I'm a racist," Ellis interrupted.  "I'm frequently found to be a liar, too. I can't really help it," Ellis added.

"So, are you lying to me now?" Nickerson asked.

"Well, I don't know. I might be," was the response.

Turned out he was successful in avoiding jury service:  the judge ordered him into custody and referred the case for prosecution.  Of course, closer to home, a Columbus man went the extra mile and actually confessed to drug addiction on the jury questionnaire, more specifically, to having "a bad jonesin' for heroin."

Speaking of juries, mine came back with a guilty verdict.  Guess I should have taken them the cake.

See you on Monday, where maybe I'll start talking about cases again, despite the fact that my birthday will only be in its second week of celebration.

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