At the end of jury selection today, a prospective juror raised her hand and said, "I've observed something going on this morning that I'd like to talk privately with the judge and the lawyers about it."
That, my friends, is a Stop Down Moment.
As the rest of all the potential jurors were excused, I spoke briefly with Assistant County Attorney Thomas Aaberg about what it could possibly be. "Other than your fly being open, I'm not sure," he said. That, of course, was a joke that was even funnier when I impulsively glanced down at my groin area. All was secure.
Once in front of the judge, the potential juror (who was as sweet and honest as the day is long - as well as a former out-of-county prosecution employee) said that she felt that I had mischaracterized the prosecution and put them at a disadvantage. What had I done? I had stressed that the prosecution was, in fact, "the government", and since so many people thought negatively of the government, the rest of the jury panel had probably made the prosecution's job more difficult.
That was a new one for me. I cannot thank her enough for being honest and expressing her opinion (By the way, I used one of my free three strikes to make sure she didn't end up on the jury - I was fairly sure she hated me.) But I think she had a hard time understanding that even though County Attorney Greg Lowery is a "good ol' Paradise boy", he is, in fact, The State Of Texas when he prosecutes someone for an alleged crime. Simply put, when he goes to work, he becomes "The Government."
Sidenote #1: Everyone at the courthouse jokes about how I drop the "n" when I pronounce "government".
Sidenote #2: The picture is from my jury selection Powerpoint presentation.
at 10:10 PM