Friday, February 18, 2005

Jury Suitability

Back to Jack...

I probably would have made a good O.J. juror - apart from being Canadian. I could have cared less about the trial, and knew relative diddly-squat about it when it started. I was a real rarity.

For Jackson, I'm pretty confident I'd be a lousy juror. I know too much already. I didn't like M.J. from the outset. I have largely made up my mind already. About the only thing going in my favour is that I really do think he deserves as unbiased a trial as possible - which is exactly why I don't think I'd be a good juror, kind of a paradox there.

My voracious need for Jackson trial data has temporarily been stalled by his 'sickness' - oh to be in the limo for that. "Oh, Tito, I think I'm feeling a little...*cough* - *cough*... could we turn the car around please? I don't think I can go to court today."

Jesus. Jackson on trial. It'd be easier to play football with a Fabrege egg.

The trickle of news items about his illness are about as exciting as sitting around the castle watching your arrows warp. So in the meantime, I've dug up the pre-trial questionairre for prospective jurors. And just for fun, and in these earliest days of my blog to offer a crash course in getting to know me...

1) Juror Number: 44 (Let's just call it a favourite number of sorts.)
2) Gender: Male
3) Please stat your age: 35
4) Is English your first language? Yes.
5) How long have you lived in Santa Barbra county? (Let's make that the Lower Mainland.) 9 1/2 years. In California? (Make that British Columbia.) 35 years.
6) What is your current area (I.E. city) of residence including your zip code? Vancouver - V5E 1L6
7) How long have you lived at your current residence? 9 months
8) Do you Own, Rent, Neither? Rent.
9) Marital Status (Single - Never married, Married, Separated, Divorced, Widowed, Single - Living with significant other)? Single - Never married
10) If married, how long have you been married? N/A
11) If living with a significant other, how long have you lived with this person? N/A
12) If married of living with a significant other, what is your spouse's or significant other's occupation? N/A
a. If he or she is retired or unemployed, what was his or her occupation before retiring or being unemployed? N/A
b. If married or living with a partner, what is his or her level of education? N/A
c. If previously married, what was your former spouse's occupation? N/A
13) Do you have children, step-children or foster children, and if so do any live at home? No, and by extension, no.
14) Please list the age, sex, occupation or area of study and marital status of each of your children or step-children: N/A
15) What are/were your parent's occupations? Mother: Educator (Teacher & Administrator) & City Councillor Father: Financial Comptroller for an airline.
16) If anyone else is living in your home, what is his or her relationship to you, age and occupation? N/A
17) Where do you fall in terms of age in relation to your siblings? Naturally, oldest. If step-siblings are considered, 2nd youngest of five.
18) What is your highest level of education completed? Bachelor of Fine Arts
19) Have you ever taken any law courses? No
20) Have you ever worked or volunteered for a child advocacy group or for a group dealing with child saftey, child abuse or mistreatment, or children's rights? No.
21) Have you ever had any training, education or jobs or have you ever done any volunteer work in any of the following areas? Banking/Finance; Corrections/Jail/Prison; Drugs/Alcohol; Engineering; Entertainment/Performing Arts; Handwriting Analysis; Forensic sciences; Firearms/guns; Genetics/DNA; Journalism/News; Investigations; Laboratory science; Justice systems/courts; Local/state government; law enforcement; Pathology; medicine nursing; statistics; Mental health; TV/Radio; Police Proceedures; Telecommunications; Science or Biology; Victims of crimes; Security; Women's Rights Organizations: Whew! Well... Corrections/Jail/Prison, Entertainment/Performing Arts, Journalism/News, TV/Radio
22) What is your present employment status? Full-time job plus self-employed activities.
23) What is your present occupation? No simple answer here - the waged job I have is in the horse racing industry - the betting portion of it. That's as far as I'm going at the moment. Not because it's illegal - it's totally legit. But I'm going to play paranoid about all the people getting fired for talking about work in their blogs...
My self-employed work is all in the entertainment industry - variously acting, writing for stage and screen as well as directing, producing and editing film... why I can't make ends meet doing all that is beyond me.
24) Have you, your relatives, or anybody close to you ever been diagnosed with any form of cancer? Yes. (How many people can honestly answer 'no' to this?)
25) Do you think your feelings about or experiences with people from different races might affect your ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror in this case? I don't think so. But by the same token I know that I've found that a lot of people who I would classify as racist don't think that they are, so I could be deluding myself. I often find potentially racially offensive jokes funny - but I can say that I find (admittedly rare) Irish jokes as funny as any that are directed at people of races that I am not a member of. The degree to which I am a racist, I am with impunity - everyone's a little bit racist some times, right Avenue Q?
26) Were you or a close family member ever in the military or reserves? No.
If yes, answer the following:
a. Who was in the military? N/A
b. What branch? N/A
c. Date of service? N/A
27) Have you ever served on a jury before? No.
If you have served on a jury before, please answer the following:
a. Please provide the following information for each case in which you served: Year; Civil or Criminal; Verdict Reached. N/A
b. Were you ever the foreperson? N/A
c. Have you ever served on a GRAND JURY before? N/A
If yes, please describe where and when: N/A
28) Have you or a family member ever made any type of claim for money damages? No
If yes, please explain: N/A
29) Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit (other than a divorce proceeding), including giving a deposition? Yes.
If yes, were you the Plaintiff; Defendant; Witness or Other? Witness
Please explain: Two separate occassions. Both car accidents. In the first case the defendant was representing himself and called me in to testify as a witness to the accident. I was the sole witness to the event. There was never any real doubt in my mind as to the fault - I suspect that the forensic evidence would have supported my belief. The defendant was utterly at fault. Yet he was under the misconception that because I ran to his aid that I was 'on his side.' The other driver was ambulatory immediately after the accident, the defendant was not - I ran to help the one who appeared to be in jeopardy. On the court date, the defendant did not show for trial.
In the second case, I was one of several witnesses. Two young-teen girls on a joy-ride narrowly missed the vehicle I was in, side-swiped a parked car and took off around the corner... where they immediately ran into (literally) a police car. Again, there wasn't really much question as to the guilt. On the court date she pleaded guilty and I never had to testify.
30) Have you, any friends or relatives ever been involved in law enforcement (for example, F.B.I., D.E.A., Sheriff's Department, County Prosecutor's Office, California Highway Patrol, Attorney General's Office, U.S. Attorney's Office) or been emploted by any such agency? No... I guess. Not in the U.S. A close friend was in the Canadian Military Police. My Mother's cousin (is that my second cousin?) is in the V.P.D. I haven't seen him in... 7 years.
31) Have you, any relatives, or close friends ever been ARRESTED or ACCUSED of a criminal offense (other than minor traffic violations)? No.
32) Have you or any member of your family, or close friends, ever been the VICTIM of or WITNESS to a serious crime? No.
33) Have you or any relative of close friend ever been ACCUSED OF inappropriate sexual behavior? No.
34) Have you or any relative or close friend ever been THE VICTIM OF inappropriate sexual behavior of any kind? A qualified 'no.' Above and beyond the 'not that I know of' caveat, I did have a teacher in high-school who, the year I graduated was arrested and convicted of sexually abusing his young male students. Naturally I was questioned as to whether I experienced any similar attention. I hadn't. But in the light of the revelation that it had been going on around me, I certainly looked at a few incidents in my time as a student of the person in question a little differently. Perhaps even as 'close calls.' Luckily I was far too goofy back when he was my teacher. I blossomed later.
35) How much have you read or watched about the current Michael Jackson case? Lots. Like, lots and lots, 'lots.'
36) How frequently have you discussed this case with frineds, co-workers, or family members? Lots.
37) Do you know, or have you read, seen, or heard ANYTHING about the publicity regarding the 1993-1994 investigation against Michael Jackson? Yes.
38) Do you or any family members or close friends know Michael Jackson? No.
If yes, please explain: N/A
39) Have you ever known anyone who has met Michael Jackson or spent any time at Neverland? No.
40) Do you have any religious or other beliefs that would make it difficult for you to sit in judgment of another person? Not at all.
If yes, please explain: N/A
41) Do you have specific health, hearing, or vision problems of a serious nature that might make it difficult for you to sit as a juror on this case? I do have aproblem that makes it difficult for me to literally sit for long periods of time. I had a roller-blade accident that caused permanent damge to my sciatic nerve. It's way better now than it has been in the six years since the accident, but still... day after day of sitting only makes it worse again, this is demonstratable.


Juror number 44.

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