Saturday, August 16, 2014

I Pity The Fool On Trial

No lunch for Mr. T of A-Team fame.

Plenty of photos with fans, phone calls to the families of those fans, but no lunch. Hunger makes a man mean and Mr. T is all about mean when it comes to fighting crime.

Not that the Chicago-based actor was on a film set or starring in a new television production.
I pity the criminal
Mr. T, or Laurence Tureaud, was just being an ordinary citizen this past week when he showed up for jury duty in a Rolling Meadows courthouse. The same as anyone else, he was called and he did what any of us would have done, which is to arrive on time and then sit around waiting to be selected to sit in judgment.

He has been a motivational speaker for a number of years, targeting the young who can turn to crime as readily as they can to education:
"Reading is the key to knowledge," he's said. "Knowledge is the key to understanding. So read on, young man! Read on, young lady!"

Considering his fervent religious beliefs and toughness, you wouldn't really want him on your jury if you were the criminal. Not a famous actor known for attempt to guide people like you to the straight and narrow path. A motivational speaker, a leader-type, on your jury? Your own lawyer would have a hard time competing with that sort of influence.

Which is why any lawyer would be a fool to select Mr. T, and which is why Mr. T was never selected.

The star power alone would be too great a distraction for both the prosecution and defense. The jury is supposed to go back and discuss the case, but what are the chances that they would all be discussing Mr. T and what it's really like in Hollywood and is Sylvester Stallone easy to work with. Famous people never get picked for juries because the ordinary folk who represent the real peerage would have a hard time focusing on the task at hand.

Or at least that's how it would be if I was sitting on a jury. But I've never been called, not once. The random selection process seems to have missed me.

But they can call a celebrity, can't they? What's wrong with me, I ask you. Am I not good enough to judge? Or is there someone in the clerk's office who wants to save me the trouble of trying to get out of jury duty and makes sure that I'm not randomly chosen in the first place? After all, in Cook County, it's not what you know but who you know.

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