Idon’t know anybody who gets summoned for jury duty more than me. Over the past decade or so, I think I’ve been summoned seven or eight times, and I have been selected to sit in the jury box four of those times. I’ve asked friends and family how many times they’ve had jury duty, and no one has been summoned more than me. I figure there are pert near 200,000 folks in Hays County, so the odds of one guy getting called for jury duty is kinda high, wouldn’t you think?
I have tried several techniques to keep from being selected as a juror. I’ve tried guessing what the lawyers are looking for during the voir dire and answering accordingly, but no one seems to want to use one of their strikes against me. They’d rather use their strikes on that fellow in the third row who looks like Charles Manson and that gal with two tear drops tattooed on her cheek.
Every time I get a summons in the mail, I carefully read the list of qualifications and exemptions to see if I can lawfully get out of jury duty for once. So when I found my latest summons lying in my mailbox along with a brochure from Peaceful Pastures Retirement Community and a flyer for discount hearing aids, I hurried home to grab my reading glasses to see if there is some new exemption that I can claim.
The first qualification is that I must be at least 18 years old. Heck, I have liver spots older than that. Then it asks if I reside in Hays County and the State of Texas. Geography was never my strong suit, but I don’t reckon I can live in Hays County without also residing in the state of Texas. Correct me if I am wrong.
Qualification #3 asks if I am eligible to vote. I don’t see how this is pertinent because if my vote matters, I would’ve voted not to attend jury duty. So I continued to read the list and #4 caught my attention. It inquired if I was “of sound mind and good moral character.” Eureka! I might’ve found a way out of jury duty.
I wonder how many of y’all out there who regularly read my column might agree that I’m about three pickles short of a quart. Some of y’all might’ve quipped, “If brains were leather, he wouldn’t have enough to make boots for a June bug.” Hey, I admit that my mind is as warped as a plywood birdbath. I have written about Bigfoot, chupacabras, and countless other inane topics, but the judicial system still considers me eligible for jury duty. I reckon the folks at the courthouse don’t subscribe to this paper, or there are folks out there even crazier than me.
I don’t qualify for any exemptions either. I’m not over 70 years of age, and I’m not in the military. I’m not a college student or a government official. When I asked my wife why she rarely receives a jury summons, she stopped making my sandwich and pointed to the exemption printed on my summons that excuses those who “are the primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care for himself.” Huh? I don’t understand.
Well, since I have another decade left before I am exempt, and since the State of Texas has deemed me intellectually and morally fit for jury duty, I reckon I will continue getting these summons in the mail every year. I don’t think the judges or attorneys really care who sits on the jury, but if you are the plaintiff or the defendant, and you see this cantankerous old redneck smiling at you from the jury box, you might want to do a plea bargain.
Guilty or not, Clint Younts manages to write something crazy every couple of weeks. Now, if the attorneys knew how much he like Lone Star beer, they might think twice …