Unless I miss my guess, few things are less welcome for most adults than getting a jury duty summons in the mail. Oh, brother! Taking off from work; spending a long boring day with a bunch of strangers; filling out questionnaires; being paid peanuts for your time, etc., etc! That’s right up there with painful dental procedures in popularity, right? As I’m sure you know by now, former President (MY President!) Barack Obama recently got his summons and, though I’m sure he could have avoided it, he reported! (One more instance of “What a cool guy he is!”) As you might expect, he was dismissed, but not before causing a near frenzy at the Daley Center in Cook County, Illinois among the press, employees, other prospective jurors and probably the lawyers, too! Barack can’t go anywhere without that happening, and, “people person” that he is, he was greeting people, shaking hands, taking selfies, smiling and joking and seemingly having a great time. That’s MY PRESIDENT, right there!
Like I said, he was dismissed, for pretty obvious reasons. Can you imagine him being herded around with everyone else the way it’s done here at Philly’s Criminal Justice Center; sitting in that big room watching the orientation video, then working on a crossword puzzle; being issued the little yellow paper “JUROR” badge (that never sticks for long!), being sent out to lunch somewhere with instructions to return at a specified time? Hey, I bet no other juror showed up in a big, black armored Chevy Suburban with a motorcade and full Secret Service contingent in tow! I can’t imagine a bigger distraction in the courtroom than having the Most Popular Man in the World sitting on the jury!
It’s reported that every lawyer who was there that day indicated that they would DEFINITELY NOT want him on any jury they would have to face! It’s easy to see why! Look, he reported for duty with Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans at his side! He’s not only the former President Of The United States, with the high credibility that brings (present prez excluded!), he’s also lawyer and former Harvard Law professor and editor of Harvard’s Law Review. You can be sure that, given all that, plus his immense popularity, pretty much any opinion he expressed in jury deliberations would probably be adopted by every other juror in the room! That pretty much ensures that if Barack thought they were guilty, June Bug and Ray-Ray, there for knocking over that convenience store, would be going to jail! What struck me most about the story is that it stated that he was paid the usual Chicago juror’s pay of $17.20, which he donated to the county. $17.20!!! That’s nearly twice what we get in Philly, a whole 9 dollars! REALLY, Philly – 9 Bucks?!?! That’s adding insult to injury! I know we’re not Chicago, but I’m sure we can do better!