Once upon a time there was a mean judge who never gave jurors a break. Many of the jurors on his cases had hardships meaning that nobody could replace them at work or that they didn’t get paid for even one day of jury duty. He caused so much suffering to so many people and didn’t even care. But, one day his luck changed.
The judge woke up in the morning, went to the kitchen to find a little box of chocolates on the kitchen table with a note. The note said that some people needed his help in Mexico to decide on a disagreement between cartels. He would receive instructions later. Someone had picked the lock and quietly entered, turning off his high-end alarm system somehow and getting out without making a sound. Obviously the work of seasoned professionals.
The next day when the judge went to work he noticed some shady looking people walking slowly through the neighborhood. He called the police, but the police informed him that they were not in fact committing a crime, so they could do nothing. That night he got a phone calls from a man with a Mexican accent telling him that he should get up early tomorrow and await further instructions.
By this point the judge was terrified and called the police again. But, the police said that no crime had been committed and that there was no evidence of a break in and no fingerprints either.
The next day, the judge woke up to find his car was missing, but there was a brand new Cadillac SUV in his driveway with keys on his kitchen table. There were instructions to drive to a particular municipal airport and not to call the police, otherwise there would be trouble. Fearing for the safety of the wife and kids he did what the instructions said and drove to the airport. From there he was escorted onto a small plane that flew into Zacatecas province in Mexico.
He was to do a quick trial between the Zacatecas cartel and the Sinaloa cartel. They ad a disagreement over money that would lead to a huge shoot out if not resolved quickly. The cartel guys who hired him informed the judge that although this is inconvenient for him, it will greatly benefit society if he provides his service. The judge agreed although he didn’t want to be there.
The judge was given free hotel accommodations courtesy of his contact person Juan who was very polite to the judge. Meals were provided by Juan’s sister Carmelita who made the best tamales in Zacatecas. But, tamales were not for free. They charged the Judge 32 cents per Tamale. Juan explained that at court snack bars, the jurors are not there by choice, but at least they get snacks for a reasonable price so he would extend the same courtesy to the judge.
The next day, the judge was informed that the expert witness would be delayed and the that court case would be delayed for two weeks. No phone calls were allowed during this time. Finally, the witness showed up, and there was another delay because the Sinaloa cartel couldn’t show up. So, a few more days waiting time. After 17 days, finally they were ready for a trial. The judge listened to both sides of this crazy argument and worked out an agreement.
After that the judge asked why they wanted him of all people. They explained that they didn’t like Mexican judges because they were all corrupt and that they wanted a nice gringo judge. It took the judge five hours to work out their problems. Then they flew the judge back to Los Angeles, gave him his car back and left him alone.
The next day, there was a thank you present once again on the kitchen table with cash paying the judge $15 per day for his service — exactly what California jurors are paid for their service. He also got paid 34 cents per mile radius from his hotel to the court room plus mileage fees for the flight to Mexico which was paid for by Juan. $468.26 cents was what the judge got for his service.
Meanwhile the judge lost his job due to being absent. The judge’s wife left him because she was terrified and his own kids were not allowed to talk to him. All for $468.26. On the other hand, he probably single-handedly prevented dozens of people from being gunned down which makes it worth while in some way, shape or form.
The moral of the story is that jury duty can be very beneficial for society and justice, but it also causes severe problem to people’s lives, their bosses, customers and family. The courts think they can pay pennies for disrupting our lives, but they don’t seem to understand how much harm they exact on us for some benefit to society.