Well. After two-and-a-half days of watching jurors bend over backwards to be released for various reasons, and then watching the lawyers (both nervous, both tipping their entire case with the pointed questions they were asking us) let people go for various obvious (someone hated gang members with a manic passion, someone had been held up with a gun and had trouble identifying the person in a line-up, someone had a brother in a gang, someone thought cops were infallible, someone clearly didn't understand English or have any idea what was going on or even if/when he was being talked to), and sometimes mysterious reasons, I was released. And as I walked out of the courtroom, the defense attorney said, "The defense is satisfied with the jury."
I was the last one of about fifteen released.
The reason? Well, it was the case of a gang memeber or wannabe gang member who had held up a whole grab bag of people and businesses with a semi-automatic weapon. And one of the addresses which they read aloud was very near my house. A 7-11 as it turned out. "My" 7-11. And when I finally was in the box and was asked various personal questions, I let them know that fact.
At the end of yesterday, I asked for a sidebar and told the judge and lawyers that I didn't think I felt comfortable sitting on a trial of a gang member in my neighborhood. And I guess that did it.
As I was walking to my car with the guy released before me (reason: we have no idea), we both admitted there was about 10% of us that regretted not sitting on the trial. I think it has to do with being told the prologue to a story for 2 days and then never getting to hear the actual story.
I also sort of enjoyed the differentness of it. I spent almost 3 days hanging out with and getting to know a true cross-section of Los Angeles, and with only the clock and each other to stare at all day, we were beginning to feel like a weird little family. I could see getting to know some of those people very well over 15 days. And except for the scary lady next to me with toenails like dark, nuttish talons, I think I would have liked that part of it.
The gang reprisal part of it? Not so much.