I’ve been summoned for jury duty many times but never selected to serve. During voir dire, when I reveal I’m married to a lawyer, one side or the other – the prosecutor if it’s criminal, which is weird because I’m slightly pro-prosecution – kicks me. Usually, I’m relieved but sometimes I think it might be interesting to serve on a jury and observe group dynamics.
That said, the way we report for jury duty today is far preferable. I’d much rather phone a recorded message in the morning and – more often than not – find out I’m free yet get credit for a day of availability.
The closest I came to a high-profile case was while visiting a lawyer friend in Orange County. Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) was on trial there so I braved the metal detectors and popped in to check him out.
At the height of his killing spree, we lived on one of the freeway off-ramp streets the Stalker favored. According to newspaper reports, he disabled and killed the husband first. If J was drinking and something went bump in the night, he made me investigate because “he always kills the husband first, remember?” I must’ve been drinking too because this made perfect sense.
It’s probably no coincidence J and I quit drinking the week before Richard’s capture. When things get that scary, it’s time to get straight.
Finding myself in close proximity to the Night Stalker’s courtroom, I vividly recalled how I crept through our house alone and unarmed at 3 AM, expecting Richard to leap out of a closet any minute. I needed to look in his eyes. If he’d pulled into our driveway, his face would’ve been the last thing I saw.