[Passage from my journal, 15 March 2001]
12:24 m PST—Jury day. I got up on time, caught the bus down, and then mostly sat around doing nothing. I read some. Not all that long before lunch time a bunch of us got called up for a jury, and—just when I was thinking I wouldn't see anything new—we got contaminated. We were asked whether we knew any of the potential witnesses, and one lady said she was a legal secretary or something of the sort, and had had some professional involvement with one of the officers who would be testifying. In what connection, the judge wanted to know. It was during his trial for police brutality, she said. And that was it for us. Back downstairs we went, where I read until we were let out for lunch. I went racing home to check on things, grabbed a little food and a change of books, and went racing back. Then another long wait, and then another call, and this time it was a trial for selling cocaine. I was the last juror to be seated—twenty-five out of twenty-five or something like that. The prosecuting attorney was a real jerk, but I didn't have any chance of getting on the jury even if they had got down to me—the defense attorney asked me about my conviction lo those many years ago, and I flat out told them that I was wrongly convicted by a corrupt system that had depended on perjured witnesses. The prosecuting attorney didn’t get much joy out of the ex-cop he asked about using informants, either. After saying that it was a necessary part of the job, he added—on being asked about how credible he would regard a witness with the background of the nark for the prosecution—in essence that he wouldn’t believe a word she said. Well, neither of us made the jury. Neither did the lady who had mentioned police brutality in the previous trial—she said she didn’t believe in the anti-drug laws, and in this one declined to say in what connection she knew one of the officers who would be testifying. I had the impression that this was the same guy again, but maybe it was just a similar name. Or something. Anyway I then went home, talked with my brother (who came by the same time I got there), and crashed out. Thank god that’s over.