By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Your Honor Code
Last week, we at Full Frontal did our civic duty and served in the Dallas County jury pool at the Frank Crowley Courts Building, just off scenic Industrial Boulevard. It inspired us so much we decided to continue our charge, offering our fellow citizens observations from the inside. The following is a list of tips to make your time as bearable, if not enjoyable, as possible. Of course, your best bet is finding a god, and praying to him/her that the jury summons never arrives in your mailbox.
DO bring a book, a newspaper, a magazine or an iPod. If possible, you should bring all four and be sure to sit between two people who obviously regret bringing none of the above.
DON'T talk to the obviously gay juror candidate unless you want him following you around the rest of the afternoon.
DO believe the judge when she says that she will confiscate your cell phone if it goes off during the proceedings and that you will not get it back. The same goes when she says if you are more than one minute late after lunch break, she will send you back to the central jury room and make you repeat the process.
DON'T say a word during the entire voir dire process if you want to increase your chances of being selected to a jury. We underwent three-plus hours of voir dire by the prosecution and the defense, and we're sure beyond a reasonable doubt that the 12 picked to serve said nothing during that time.
DO say, "Far as I'm concerned, he's guilty," as the gentleman in front of us did, if you want to ensure you won't be picked.
DO hope that the obviously crazy defendant in the competency hearing you've been selected for claims she is a member of the band Creed, and that the county-appointed psychiatrist assigned to the case describes, in detail, his search to corroborate this fact.
DON'T laugh when this happens. Even in the relaxed atmosphere of Judge Lisa Fox's County Criminal Court No. 10, it is frowned upon.
DON'T laugh when the prosecutor assigned to the case's first name is Dewey, either. Again, frowned upon.
DO remember there is an activity that we in the business like to call "taking the stairs." If you are not smart enough to find the stairwell when more than 100 people are standing at the elevators, you should not be allowed to serve on a jury.
DON'T panic if, once eliminated, you sneak out the same little-used stairwell you ascended that morning, and the lone footsteps you hear behind you turn out to be your new gay friend. Just ask him about last night's Mavericks/Rangers/Stars game, and he will veer off at about level 5.
DO remember to high-five every member of your respective jury panel after being told you can go home. They want to do it just as much as you--they're simply waiting for someone to make the first move.
--Eric Celeste and Zac Crain