On Looking Back On Jury Duty

After a suspenseful first day, and a numbingly boring second day, my stint as a potential juror ended immediately after call time on the third day, when answering a quick roll call (to catch the latecomers on their “last” day) won me an early discharge.
As a result, I’m getting my courtroom thrills elsewhere:

  • I started reading Hollywood on Trial, the screenwriter Gordon Kahn’s report from the receiving end of the HUAC inquisition and the studio betrayal, so when some too-smart prosecutor quizzed me with, “So what are you reading?” I could answer, “A book about people getting judged unjustly for what they read and wrote.” It turns out to be a remarkably raw, bitter, story.
  • 255 years ago today, according to the remarkable Proceedings of the Old Bailey, a Mary Evans was tried for stealing a linen sheet from a Frances Divine:

    Frances Divine. The prisoner came and desired me to let her have a lodging, which I did, she lay in my house one night; the next morning she took a sheet from the bed; I saw her with it, and charged her with taking it; she would not come back, but went away with it, and I never saw her till I took her up, to-morrow will be a fortnight.
    Prisoner’s defence.
    This woman is great with my husband, and keeps him from me, and she could have no claw against me, so she has laid this sheet to my charge. It is all spight.

    [thanks to fellow ex-fish Adam’s great v-2]