My wife just told me she had been released from jury duty, and it reminded me of an old story. Some background first: I was on TV several times a day in Atlanta, for over 30 years. Kids grew up with me on their TV sets. Cable systems around the state carried our stations so I was known all over. The point of this rambling is: I was a very well recognized individual.
So when I was called for jury duty, everyone at my TV station just laughed. “Hell, they wouldn’t take you for money, you’re too well known. They’ll be afraid you might influence the jury. You’ll be in and out of there as fast as the revolving door can spin.”
Feeling very confident that this is going to be a short day for me, I go to the Fulton County Courthouse. And the lawyers are polling the prospective jurors. When they get to me the lawyer for the plaintiff says, “He’s okay with me, you honor.” And the lawyer for the defendant says, “Fine with me.” And there I am on a jury where I am elected the Foreman. That trial lasted four days.
A year passes and I get called again for jury duty. I’m beginning to think they have me on speed dial. Again nobody believes that I will have to serve – and I find myself on another jury for another four day trial.
This is getting out of hand. Then, sure enough, another year goes by and I get called for jury duty a third time. I am not going to get caught this go around, so I am ready. I show up at the appointed time and am seated in the jury box. The case involves car break-ins. I haven’t had my car broken into, but I am already buttoning my coat. When the lawyers question us it finally gets to be my turn to speak. So I say, “You know, I had my car broken into just a week ago. I think anyone who breaks into a car should get capital punishment.”
The judge says, “Mr. Beckman, you are excused.”