Jury duty is something we all would prefer not to have to do, but after it's over with we're glad we did it. Kind of like a bowel movement.
For the past two mornings I've reported for duty at the appointed time, marched off to a court room, and sat through lawyers' drills to weed out anyone not inherently favorable toward their cases, and got weeded out.
If you listen closely to the lawyers in the voir dire -- you really have to listen closely because they quiz you -- you can figure out what they're looking for in a juror.
For example, yesterday morning in a voir dire for a personal injury trial jury the plaintiff's lawyer asked an interesting question. "Does anyone listen to talk radio?" Talk radio is the one form of media dominated by conservatives. And it's a good guess that people who listen to talk radio are more likely than not conservative. There are a couple of forms of conservatism, but the one the lawyer sought to identify was fiscal conservatism, or to frame it in another way, stinginess.
Those people who raised their hands probably got struck. Because what a plaintiff's lawyer wants is a juror who is generous. And here, "generous" doesn't mean donating time or money to churches or non-profits. It means generous with other people's money. But since he was trying to identify panel members to strike, he tried to identify the conservatives. To ask "Who watches MSNBC?" would have been way too obvious.