“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”
powerful Black Science Man
“I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
This is a good illustration of what’s wrong with the US criminal justice system.
I’m more struck by the second anecdote, in which he was evidently disqualified from jury duty for displaying the ability to do math.
WHY NOT?; a mix filled with my favorite songs from 2000s teen movies [LISTEN]
1. ”miracles happen” by myra (from the princess diaries) 2. ”why can’t i?” by liz phair (from 13 going on 30) 3. ”milkshake” by kelis (from mean girls) 4. ”perfect day” by hoku (from legally blonde) 5. ”i’ll be” by edwin mccain (from a cinderalla story) 6. ”what i like about you” by lillix (from freaky friday/13 going on 30) 7. ”what dreams are made of” by hilary duff (from the lizzie mcguire movie) 8. ”cinderella” by the cheetah girls (from the cheetah girls) 9. ”drama queen (that girl)” by lindsay lohan (from confessions of a teenage drama queen) 10. ”ultraviolet” by the stiff dylans (from angus, thongs, and perfect snogging) 11. ”hey mickey” by b*witched (from bring it on) 12. ”better open the door” by motion city soundtrack (from john tucker must die) 13. ”i’m not a girl, not yet a woman” by britney spears (from crossroads) 14. ”someone’s watching over me” by hilary duff (from raise your voice) 15. ”long time coming” by oliver james (from what a girl wants) 16. ”4ever” by the veronicas (from she’s the man) 17. ”get a clue” by simon and milo (from get a clue) 18. "these days" by chantal kreviazuk (from the sisterhood of the traveling pants)
OH MY GOD