Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/468

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Impaneling a Jury "Machinist, and make five dollars a day; double for overtime." "Well, the pay is not a good excuse, but I think your children need you worse than the state does. It is a pitiable thing when the state of Illinois cannot support you and those dependent upon you, while demanding your ser vices as a juror. I am going to let you go." "John Brown. And your excuse?" "Your honor, my wife is in a very deli cate condition and expected to be sick now at any time. I must be there." "Yes, you are right about that. If that is the case, you may go, and go quick. You know the old saying that there are two times in a man's life when he ought to be at home. You are un doubtedly coming to one now. Any lawyer in the room can tell you when the other time is. You hurry home, and God bless you." "Next juror, Patrick McGinnis. Patrick McGinnis! Isn't Patrick Mc Ginnis in the court room? Oh, I see, I have him marked here as a deaf man! Will someone that knows Pat just punch him once for me?" The whole court room snickered, one old shriveled-up man grunted, jumped to his feet, hobbled forward to the bar and sputtered out, "I couldn't hear your Honor at first." "You say you can't hear," shouted the judge. "What is that, your Honor?" He squinted and raised his hand to his ear for an ear trumpet. "I say, can't you hear at all?" "Yes, Judge, I am an old man, but not as old as I look. My hearing began to fail me, though, long before my age. Nigh onto twenty years have I been afflicted, Judge." "Well, I think I will have to let you go, then," shouted the judge again.


"Thank you, Judge. Thank you. I haven't served for twenty years, and I guess I am getting too old to serve now.', The judge watched the old man closely as he turned and hobbled away; and then in a low tone of voice the judge said, "It must be a terrible affliction to have been deaf for twenty long years." The old man turned his shaking head, and in a sympathetic tone of voice said, "Yes, Judge; it has been, it —" "Well, I thought so," blurted out the judge. "Twenty years is a long time, so you'll have to begin right now to make up for lost time." Greatly confused, the old man tottered and began to plead, "Oh, no, Judge; I can't hear at all — only once in a while, when certain sounds strike me just right." "Oh, yes! Well, these sounds will strike you all right. We have a new generation of lawyers since you last served, and if you will take a seat you will find you will have no difficulty in hearing them." "Now, the next man, Thomas Ryan. You are not deaf, but you say you have lumbago. How does that affect your service as a juror?" "Why, Judge, I can't sit down for over a minute at a time. I have to stand up or walk all the time." "Well, that is a different proposition — really a new one," mused the judge. "Ability to sit down is certainly one of the greatest qualifications of a juror, and I might say, judging from the ver dicts that have been brought in lately, it seems as if the jurors have used that part of their anatomy more than their heads. You certainly are disqualified, and you may go." "Now, Jacob Goldstein. What is your trouble?" "No trouble at all, your Honor; I just said I was studying law, and I wanted the experience of jury service