At the Rolling Meadows courthouse, Judge Tim Evans testified on tape that jury duty was a cornerstone of democracy. Still, from the jury pool assembly room it seemed like a stone the builders rejected. Everyone I talked to seemed to require a two-hour commute. (The jury summons instructs prospective jurors how to use public transit to get there a little late.) The commute allowed me to read much of Steve Bogira's Courtroom 302, a fly-on-the-wall account that paints the activity in Chicago's Criminal Courts building as Sisyphusian.
Voir dire seemed endless from the jury box. The defendant seemed impatient as well, an unguarded demeanor for a domestic battery defendant. The judge found it remarkable that I was a White Sox fan from the North Side. "And a Tribune employee too," I noted. The defense excused me. Just as well.