It was the last day of jury duty. We, the jurors, deliberated for a little over an hour and then called the bailiff to let her know we’d come to a decision. Half an hour later, all attorneys and defendants were ready for us to file out in to the jury box.
As we took our seats, the judge noted, “let the record show that all jurors and alternates are present… and one die hard Laker fan.”
The courtroom broke out into nervous laughter.
“Is that on the record?” juror #3, sitting directly to my right, asked.
“Yes,” the judge responded with a boyish smile.
That was it for the jokes and we got to business.
I sat next to juror #3, a tall, athletic Afro-Panamanian in his 60s, for our nine day stint on jury duty. I never learned his name, but did learn a lot about him. After seeing the Panamanian flag hanging from his rear-view mirror and learning he didn’t need to listen to the court-appointed interpreter to understand the testimony of a Spanish-speaking witness, I figured out he was from Panama. He passed out shiny purple and gold fliers and told the rest of the jury about his tax preparation business. The office doubled as a museum housing his Laker gear. Yes, he gave tours.
Oh yeah, he was diehard Laker fan. It’s on the record!
He distinguished himself from fair-weather fans (*raises hand*) by asserting that he was a Laker fan even during their slump in the 60s. But he didn’t have to say anything. His zealousness was clear.
Every single day he wore Laker gear from head to toe. Yes, even shoes. The cap came off only while in court. He always read the sports section for the latest news and analysis on the Lakers’ playoff run. If he forgot sports section, he’d ask to borrow mine. He had two flags — ubiquitous during the Lakers’ 3-peat in 2000, 2001, and 2002 — on his car. I suspect they never came off during the off-season or even the regular season.
I wonder if juror #3, felt sick after tonight’s game.
I know I did.