Grand Fucking Jury

The Law

Pardon my French – or is that legalese?

As of today, I’m required to serve as a grand juror for the next two weeks. Meaning I had to cancel my only paid work for the month, speaking at Alma College in Michigan. The court said essentially, “tough shit.” Ironically, if I’d been mugged on the street for the same $ amount, I could initiate a trial in the very same criminal court I’m “serving” in!

Unlike trial juries, Grand Jury allows no excuses; they don’t interview you. If you’re breathing, you serve. The fact that I’m morally opposed to the drug laws that half the cases are based on is irrelevant; I’m simply advised not to vote on those.

I’m also sick – still coughing even after a month with this virus, whatever it is – but don’t have insurance or a regular doctor to write the official written excuse on official doctor letterhead. Besides, that would only postpone this; once you’re called, they keep calling you until you’re seated. They mentioned that sometimes jurors get sick while serving; one collapsed on duty recently. If I actually collapse, they’ll send a doctor. Otherwise, tough shit.

On the brighter side, I get to see up to six cases a day. Lots of fascinating stories, especially the ones that aren’t about drugs. And however much it sucks to be a juror, it sucks worse to be anyone else in that room.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I have such a bad attitude about the law, maybe it’s because I broke federal law to make my film, and could have faced jail time myself? Or that most people I know are technically criminals also?

Don’t expect much from me until after November 23rd. I do get weekends off. And tomorrow, which is Veteran’s Day.

3 comments to Grand Fucking Jury

  • Maybe you’ll get some cases about copyright infringement.

  • Jeff Weiner

    Maybe get some ideas for another film?

  • Kate Blanchard

    Nina, we are very, very sad you’re not coming to Alma next week. My intro to religious studies students and I will watch your film anyway, but it won’t be as much fun without the filmmaker there. (By the way, I sat next to Philip Lutgendorf on a plane last weekend; he says hello.) Best wishes for a relatively painless jury duty. At least you don’t have to travel. -Kate Blanchard

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