I refer of course to that scourge of registered drivers and voters everywhere: Jury Duty.
I have been summoned to appear as a prospective juror in the "Superior Court of King County", which is not in Seattle, but in KENT, 20 miles away. Since I already commute 50 minutes a day to the next county, this isn't as obnoxious for me as it would be for most Seattle-ites, although the 8am start time (I usually have to be to work at either 9am or noon) is rather irritating.
According to their web page, King County Superior Court is a general jurisdiction trial court with responsibility for civil matters involving more than $300, felony criminal cases , family law, including dissolutions, child support, adoptions, parentage, and domestic-violence protection matters , probate and guardianship matters, juvenile offender cases, mental illness, involuntary commitment matters
...so basically, I could get almost any kind of case, from the juicy to the pedestrian (I fear something like a land dispute or securities fraud, or the non Clinton equivalent of Whitewater.
So I got to thinking, there are two ways one can approach Jury Duty:
1) play it straight and try to get on a jury
2) appear in court in such a way that you would be instantly disqualified before they even start the voir dire.
A friend's husband had planned, if ever called, to attempt #2. He was saving a baseball cap with a confederate flag and the slogan "The South will Rise Again!" to wear to his jury appearance. While this wouldn't necessarily work in all parts of the country, he lived in San Francisco, where such redneckery would likely not only cause offense, but probably make the attorneys question his ability to reason and pass fair judgment.
Anyway, it would be fairly easy for me to project the image of "I am no one's peer, and God forbid you'd get a jury made up of people like me" if I wanted to. I have my hipster/ punk Tshirts from my youth (the Ted Bundy autopsy photo shirt with yearbook photos of his known victims on the back, purchased at a SF thrift in the mid 90s, would probably go over really well out here, as Ted was raised in Tacoma and was acquainted with local true crime scribe Ann Rule) and I've just cut my hair to a length that might read as non-heterosexual anywhere outside of Capitol Hill . And that's before they ask me any questions about my views on taking off all zig For Great Justice. If I wanted to, I could easily get both sides' attorneys to want me gone without telling a lie or misrepresenting my views.
So, non binding poll: if you were me, what would you do?
what I would do if I got called for Jury duty is:
play it straight
attempt to appear non-peerish, ie, break out the Marilyn Manson Tshirt!