Sunday, November 30, 2014

Almost December


I'm not gloating. It looks nice, but this kind of weather is wrong this time of year, even for Los Angeles. So really, no gloat. 

I had jury duty recently. At lunch break, I would visit Grand Park, buy a pulled pork sandwich from a lunch truck, and find myself some shade (too hot in the sun, wrong wrong wrong). In the background on the right is LA's City Hall. At the center is the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, where I spent a couple of days. I was excused from the jury in the end, merely because they hadn't arrived at my number by the time they'd selected the panel. Being on a jury can be interesting but if you don't want to serve, you want a high number.

Jury duty is one of those American things I like to think of as "the worst system in the world, except for all the others."

18 comments:

Bellis said...

I love the shockingly pink chairs and tables in that park! How many days were you there? Someone should think up a better way to select a jury, without calling up 100 people when only 12 are required. In the UK, the prosecution and defence don't get to hand-pick the jurors that will best serve their case. When did that start in the US?

Petrea Burchard said...

Funny that I posted this and it's finally raining!

I was there two and a half days, Bellis.

I'd like to see a better way to select, but because each person is innocent until proven guilty, and because some crimes are more serious than others, I think we have to take it seriously and make sure, as much as possible, that both victim and suspect get justice. As far as I can tell, this means each potential member of the jury must be evaluated and the only good way to do that is in person. I agree with you that the attorneys might not be the best people to pick. They're certainly not impartial.

William Kendall said...

Rather different from what I'd think of as park furnishings.

I've never been called for jury duty... I don't think I'd want to.

Petrea Burchard said...

Is Canada's system similar to ours, William?
Jury duty can be interesting, depending on the case. It's a big responsibility, and sometimes an exercise in compromise. A good experience for a writer.

altadenahiker said...

Speaking of writing, how was Saturday's event?

Petrea Burchard said...

Hee hee, thanks for asking. It was a great success. I was really happy with it.

Ms M said...

Nice photo with the pink "accent lawn furniture"! ;)
Too hot for this time of year? Glad you finally got some rain! I hope more is on the way to help ease the drought.
And fortunate your jury duty has ended?

Petrea Burchard said...

It rained on and off today, Ms M. I hope we'll see more. Yesterday it was hot and sunny.

Jury duty lasted two and a half days. Those lawyers were careful and the judge was really interesting.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'm curious about that white windowless cube building....Did you read the narrative about Clara? There's a public art piece in the building that's about her.

Petrea Burchard said...

PA, I saw some of the images but didn't stop to read the narrative. The judge was adamant about being on time, and not being used to going downtown I always felt like I was rushing. Which didn't always matter because we didn't always start on time, but you never know.

Here's info about Clara and the artwork by Susan Schwartzenberg:
http://www.lacountyarts.org/civicart/projectdetails/id/64

José Mendonça said...

This is what the weather always used to be here this time of the year, but it seems those days are gone. Autumn has been lousy, three floods in the Lisbon area so far. Yuck!

Petrea Burchard said...

Global warming seems to have caused much of its havoc in Portugal lately, José.

Debs said...

You're right, it does look wrong for the time of year. Looks like it could be a scene here. Don't worry I'm sure you'll get cold Christmas weather soon ;)

llandudnopictures said...

Jury service, rightly or wrongly, is very inconveniencing!

William Kendall said...

Our legal system tends to be a bit more modeled on the British system, though we've dispensed with the wigs!

I answered your question over at Dina's blog on the Holy Sepulchre.

Petrea Burchard said...

Debs, the day after I posted this it started raining!

You're right about that, Llandudno.

Thanks, William. Dina even sent me an email to tell me. I did much the same to research locations for Camelot & Vine. The internet is a great tool!

Cafe Pasadena said...

What did you think of the new "Grand" Pk?
I've visited it twice. 1st at nite about 2 yrs ago in support of a friend who was on a panel of speakers talking LA Civic Ctr, and then again about a yr ago.

I need to ck it out a 3rd time to see how it's developed.

Petrea Burchard said...

I liked it, Cafe. I only managed to visit twice but it was comfortable and busy, with the amenities I needed.