Re: [humanism-174] My day in Jury Duty - from Sheri

From: sheri p.
Sent on: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 8:22 PM
The lady said that they were getting new jurors tomorrow (never heard of mid week people serving jury duty).  I got $20 a day ($40 buckaroos) that will be mailed within two to three weeks.  She said they had too many people and they can handle the rest of the week.

When I first served six years ago, I took four Juror Pins.  I took my "thank you" paper and framed it and hot glue gunned my four pins to it! ha ha ha

This time, I told them I was going to steal the lanyard and I did!  I have it with the juror tag.  I will put that with my new certificate.  

People bitch and complain about serving jury duty.  I understand; it is a pain in the ass, but I do KNOW it is an honor and privilege to do so. 
Again, I made my story as short as possible, but when I brought up the stoning and Sharia Law, the judge asked me if I can differentiate between American laws and other laws.  Oh, she told me that (the stoning) was NOT based on Sharia Law and I told her it was.  But, I did tell her I do KNOW American law.

FYI - off topic... Right now, I have the TV on in the background.  Is it just me or are they advertising the hell out of the new Cosmo show featuring NDT's new show?







On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 7:59 PM, Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]> wrote:

Thanks for the detailed update, Sheri! I'm glad that no one thought you were devil's spawn or anything :) Thank you again for being so outspoken!

You don't have to serve out the rest of the week? They made us stay 2 weeks back when I served, whether we got on a jury or not (at $10 per day).

On Feb 25,[masked]:23 PM, "sheri presloid" <[address removed]> wrote:
So glad to hear that, Mark!  YAY!!!!

So, today, we were to get "vetted" ( I forgot the French word for it, but it begins with a "V") by the prosecutors and the defense attorney.  Again; long story short...

We were in the Jury Deliberation room and we were waiting to go in the courtroom.  This other woman (who didn't say anything to me yesterday)  was sitting across from me and she said, "I noticed the judge asked you a lot of questions about what you said.  I think she really knows what it means, but she asked you questions to see if you were lying."  I just said, "Probably" and I smiled.  We talked a bit.  She has four horses and was really friendly.  Everyone, even the Jesuit brother said good morning.  I am sure many people think that as an "atheist", that is my entire life's mission.  Well, I hope that (if I am the first atheist they ever met), I changed their opinion of what we are about.  I know I came across just as nice, friendly and warm as their fellow church goers.

So, we get dismissed for lunch (didn't get in the courtroom).  We were sitting around and this one guy, Charles was a hoot.  He told the judge that he will NEVER vote again because he hates jury duty.  He was someone you laughed at; not with.  He totally loved the attention from all the other jurors.  So, Brandon (the guy with a wife; five kids; church three times a week) is standing there in our group in the jury room and we are all talking.  Charles says, "You know, I live life how I want because I know that on my deathbed, I just have to get my last rites (or is it rights?) and float my way to the heavens." We all start laughing and he points to Brandon and says, "Dude, you go to church three hours a week (he obviously assumes an hour each day), But, do you know that I was told god is everywhere, so I think he is in my house and I don't have to go to church."

I turned away because I didn't want anyone thinking I planted that in his head!  I never spoke to Charles to give him any thoughts.  I did feel like he was my vessel though! ha ha ha

Bottom line, the defendant took a plea deal at 3pm today.  He was a Vietnamese man that was charged with rape and kidnapping.  The rape was through finger rape.  I am thinking that Jane Doe was either very young or a stroke victim because when the judge talked to one juror who was a nurse in the stroke unit of a hospital, the judge really questioned her.  I don't know the kidnapping part.  I think the guy's name was Nu Nguyen (pronounced as WIN).  It was odd because the judge didn't know how to pronounced that last name.  I actually do because I know a man with that last name, but you would think she ran across that name since she was a judge since 1974 - yeah; she told us that.

So, I am done with Jury Duty for at least two years!  I love jury duty, but this was uneventful (less my "coming out" in the courtroom.). 

I never exclaimed my atheism in such a fashion.  Hell, half of my extended family doesn't know I am an atheist.  It was really liberating.  I just wish I was able to stand up and say, "Hi, my name is Sheri and I am an Atheist" and hope to hear in unison, "HI SHERI....." ha ha ha ha

Cheryl (aka, sherry) said that she visited CFT site and was impressed.  I told her to find the FB page. 

I think a lot of people in the courtroom were curious about what I said.  Again; I kept it short yesterday, but Judge Strickland Staffold (got it wrong yesterday!) asked me a lot of questions about CFT.  I really had to keep telling her that we were not like FFRF and that we are just a group of awesome people with the same thoughts and Ideas (and some not the same), but we communicate  through news updates, thoughts and opinions and share them with each other and enjoy learning from each other or getting new perspectives....

So, I guess my Atheism saved some tax dollars and the dude admitted his sin. (I am going to believe it was ALL ME!) ;)

I am done for the year with my contribution to humanity. ha ha ha ha ha






On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]> wrote:

Yep, Sheri, there was a pretty good spike in our website visits yesterday! 115 new visits, whereas the average daily looks to be around 25 new visits. I guess it's a good time for the judge or whomever to be poking around, there is a lot of sciency stuff on the schedule and art & politics in the recent past meetups. They'll think we're actual intellectuals (lol).

On Feb 24,[masked]:35 PM, "sheri presloid" <[address removed]> wrote:
Ohhhh..I don't even know how to begin.  I wish I could have written this as it happened, no...I wish I could have a video recording of what happened today.  I am going to try and make it short and sweet.

There were 12 people in the jury seats.  Me and 21 others as perspective jurors in the overflow.  The third juror was a "brother".  Didn't know what that meant.  He looked like a priest, but I guess he is Jesuit and that makes him a brother in the rankings.

The 12th juror was this 39 year old man with five kids ranging in age from 6 - 4 - 3 - 2 and 1.  Super religious and the family goes three times a week to church.

I am the 13th person (first in the overflow).  Judge Strickland Stafford (I think I got that right) asked questions from every one of us.  One of them was if we belong to any organizations or groups.  I mentioned CFT.  I had to repeat it three times to her even though I said it slowly.  She never heard of it.  She asked me what Cleveland Free-Thinkers were.  I started lightly.  I said it was a secular/humanist group.  She proceeded to ask me what that meant.  So, I gave in and mentioned it involves atheists and other like minded people who pay attention to keeping state and religion separate and that it goes beyond atheism and it delves into all that is "free thinking" including evolution, science, universe, etc.  Again; keeping it short and sweet. I did mention we help with charity stuff too but not affiliated with churches, etc...

She asked me if we dealt with judicial stuff.  I said we are not an organization like FFRF.  I had to explain that.  I mentioned Sharia Law and the stoning of women and I mentioned how that couple last week FINALLY got prison time for killing BOTH of their children because they decided to pray instead of getting medical intervention.  So, it was basically just that...

Well, me, being the 13th, there were 21 more people to interview.  The lady next to me mentioned her church and bible classes.  Everyone except two people talked about their "organization" affiliation and they mentioned church!  You would think I brought HELL into this courtroom!  No shit, I could not make up this story if I tried.  This woman (three jurors down from me) said she used to be an atheist but she went to GOD to get a husband.  I am not kidding you.  This is the best part:  Judge Stafford asked if god gave her a husband.  She said, "Yes, your honor, he did, but he was not the right one."  The judge said, "Did you send him back?"  The courtroom busted out laughing.  The juror said, "No.  We are separated, but that was god's will and he will guide me to the correct husband".

This is not a "story".  This happened today.  I have jury duty all week.  I don't think I will get on this case, but if I do I will let you know what happens.

So, this freaky juror (same one who god sent the wrong hubby to her) says she is part of IDMR: http://www.idmr.net/history.htm.  It is a metaphysical bullshit stuff.  She said the founder "rid himself of his flesh" in the 70's.  The judge asked, "What happened to the rest of him!?!?!  What does that mean?!?!??!?!"  She replied, "He died".  The judge asked if this religion was a form of Christianity.  The juror said that they were "sons".  The judge asked if it was S-U-N or S-O-N.  The juror replied "SON", but they were sons of the Sun.  

I swear; there are fucked up people in this world.  Oh, and they live in Cleveland.

We finally get done and this woman, Cheryl (she goes by my name; sheri - not written the same) and we are by the elevators.  She comes up to me and says, "I just want to tell you that I think you are so brave to say you are an Atheist".  She continues to say that she thinks she is one too.  We both rode the Red Line in from the rapid and we talked all the way to her stop.  She and I really clicked.

She is really nice.  Oh, FYI - I mentioned that CFT has a website and FB page in the courtroom.  The judge, prosecutors and defense attorney were scribbling away.

Mark - I don't know if you can see traffic, but let me know if you see anything! ha

So, that was my first day in jury duty!  Yay me!  I am going to bet I won't get on the case.  The people looked at me like I was nuts, but not as nutty as the meta chick.

Sheri




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