I actually wrote this post a long time ago. Back in November of 2004, but somehow it never got posted. My good friend Rich Hundhausen posted about his jury duty which reminded me of this, and then when I looked for it I couldn’t find it. So here it is, and just a little late.
Justice is (Color) Blind
Well at least the jury and bailiffs are.
As I previously mentioned I was on jury duty during November 2004. My number did come up one day and I had to go down to the court house as a perspective juror.
There were three juries that morning. I was perspective juror 241. They gave me a pink badge that said “Jury” on it and I took a seat. I looked around and noticed there were also blue badges and another shade of pink. I thought maybe some of the badges were faded, since it was a very similar color. I was curious where the third jury was, since just pink and blue where here.
And why blue and pink? Those are the colors they put new babies in so you know if they are a boy or girl.
We all set quietly with very little talking. Just an occasional whisper. Something about being in a court house seems to make most people nervous.
A bailiff came in and announced that the salmon jury should follow him. Salmon? I noticed that people with both shades of pink were getting up to follow him. Then he reiterated that pink and blue should stay, but salmon should follow him.
I looked over at a guy next to me with the same colored badge. He looked as confused as I felt. “Are we salmon?” I asked.
“I have no idea,” was his response.
So I turned to another bailiff and asked him. He glanced at my badge, tipped it in the light, then looked over at someone with the other shade of pink and examined their badge. He finally nodded his head so I headed out.
We were led to another room full of jurors. They had badges that were my shade as well as the other shade. So the color issue was still not solved.
Another bailiff introduced her self and said we would be with her in this court room. A video was started and the bailiff went to turn down the lights. He flipped a number of switches on and off as he watched the lights go on and off. It was like he had not’ adjusted the lights in here before. He finally settled for all the lights being off.
We watched a video that explained how important jury duty was. It also explained some of the process. Basically we would be randomly selected and then questioned. We could then be possibly dismissed if either side thought we were somehow biased or connected with the case. They stressed that being dismissed should not be taken personally.
Before the video was over the lights came on and again a bailiff said for all the salmon ones to follow him. This was a little confusing, but I figured they changed their mind so I started to get up. I was starting to wonder if we were being tested on our ability to follow orders and also differentiate colors.
Before we got far the other bailiff protested and said pink was to follow her. There was a short debate as they examined badge colors and paper work. They finally came to an agreement.
Of course at this point no one knew what color they were. They held up a badge of one color and said “This color follow me,” then they held up the other shade of pink, “This color stay.”
I still don’t know what color I was, but I ended up with everyone having the same shade of pink that I did.
I ended up not having my number called up for questioning as a juror, so it is conceivable I was in the wrong court room.
Afterwards we all commented to each other about how crazy their color selection was. Just imagine if someone actually was color blind!
(For those of you who are really paying attention, I used the color salmon instead of pink, since salmon is easier to read on white. Just so you know, the difference between the two badges was MUCH less pronounced.)