Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Panel

So I got picked for a panel. It was medical malpractice involving a doctor, the lab, a pap smear and cervical cancer. Six people were going to be questioned at a time. They didn't tell us much, only that they needed five more jurors and that the trial would start on Tuesday and would run three or four days. They just wanted to talk to us, to find out stuff about us. I got questioned second. The first guy seemed like some sort of criminal. He said he didn't want to be there but as long as he wasn't going to send anyone to jail, it was okay with him. I told them I was a math teacher, I wrote that on my questionnaire, but I remembered that my friend, who is a malpractice lawyer for doctors said he liked math teachers on his juries. He said math teachers were very analytical. I told them I did not want to be there. I told them my students needed me to help them pass the regents to graduate and to pass the AP exam in May. I then started telling them about my mom's experience in the hospital and how I think the doctors did something to her in the ER that might have led to her death. They quickly pulled me out of the jury room and questioned me privately. I told them how she got steadily worse in the ER, after the medication and the blood transfusion. I told them that no one would care, because she was old. I started to cry. They told me to get my things and go back to the jury selection room. They were very sorry for my loss.

I'm sorry I used my mom this way but, it wasn't an act. I really was upset. I also don't want to serve on this or any jury. My mom would be happy that she helped me out. So now I am back waiting for someone to tell me I can go home and hopefully that I don't have to come back for six more years. The only case they need a jury for today is the one I just got eliminated from.

On an up note, lunch was 1.5 hours. I took a nice long walk along Jamaica Ave and Suphtin Blvd. I love these neighborhoods. They are so colorful. I wish I had my camera but I know it is not allowed in the building so I left it home today. I know so many people that are afraid to walk around this neighborhood. It is their loss. The people here are like people in any neighborhood. They shop, they eat lunch and they care for their children. I feel sorry for those scaredy cats. They are missing so much life has to offer.


Anonymous said...

Your loss is still so recent, and your anguish very deep. It seems a bit inhumane to not only exacerbate (unknowingly) your pain due to the nature of the case itself, but then to question you further?? I say let you off the hook; they really weren't all that kind. There must be another "hot" juror like you in the pool!! If the judicial system can't even treat jurors in a humane way, what does that say about the way others are treated, especially if you are a defendant? On another note, your walk was an opportunity well taken! I feel like a tourist in that neighborhood since it is so different than my own neighborhood or even where I teach. The true nature of the "real" New York City presides in these neighborhoods. Years ago I lived in a much more urban area and it was markedly very different than other areas in the borough. There was an energy and ambiance to the area that didn't exist in "quieter" places. It's always an adventure going to a neighborhood you ordinarily wouldn't go to in order to do your civic duty.

17 (really 15) more years said...

I haven't served on a jury yet- I've gone down a couple of times, but always managed to get out of it. The last time, they polled us in the jury box- they wanted to know how many of us had Masters degrees. I was the only one to raise my hand, and they dismissed me. Stupidly, I said, "so you only want the uneducated jurors?" The judge told me if I didn't leave quietly, he would hold me in contempt.

You're mother is smiling down on you right now saying, "Glad I could help honey"- you didn't use her memory, they just rubbed salt in an open wound.

ms. whatsit said...

I was relieved of my jury duty, thank goodness. Normally I wouldn't mind serving, but on my days off? Geeze!

Pissedoffteacher said...

I would have had to work on Wed anyways so it didn't turn out that bad.

Anonymous said...

I used to work in that neighborhood--I wouldn't say it was dangerous, but it's dingy and depressing. There are some great historic buildings around there, though--there is also a historic cemetery, dating back to the 1600s--right by York College. I loved to see the historic and landmarked buildings when I worked there--otherwise, the neighborhood didn't do much for me.