I managed to get through the first 29 years and change of my life without receiving a summons for jury duty.
Most likely, it’s because I haven’t had the same address for more than two years at any point in my life since 1997.
Or perhaps it’s because I’m too smart for the jury pool.
Now look, I’m not a braggart. There are people at the Herald who run intellectual circles around me. (However, I run equally impressive circles around them when it comes to imbibing. Everyone has a gift.)
But you really don’t get a true appreciation for the population's wide range in intellect until you’re forced to spend a day with them, debating the virtues of the Fifth Amendment and the necessity of self-defense.
But that’s exactly where I found myself Wednesday, on a Miami-Dade jury panel for a first-degree murder trial.
The man on trial has been accused of stabbing to death a former love interest. Maybe he did it. Maybe not.
But I'll never know for sure. I was one of 40 perspectives, of which 12 jurors and two alternates were picked.
I was not one of the 14 – probably because of my profession.
But judging from some of those that were picked, I pray for our legal system.
Many thought that pleading the Fifth was a defacto admission of guilt. Others swore there was no scenario under which a man could use self-defense against a woman. One even pretended she didn't speak English in an attempt to get off the panel -- a ruse the judge quickly spotted.
It took me 10 hours to remember what I had forgotten years ago: There are a lot of, how should I say this, narrowly thinking people out there.
But I didn’t need a daylong civics lesson for that. All I needed to do was watch how our presidential nominees are picked.
Here endeth the lesson. Rant over.