LA County Courts Need Jury Selection FastPass®!

So last week I had Jury Duty at the LA County Criminal Court. Man was that painful. Honestly, it was one of the least user friendly processes that I've ever been through. Also last week I went to Disneyland with my high school buddy Zak and his brother Jay. We used FastPass® on some of the rides. That there's one of the most user friendly processes I've encountered. This got me thinking, they need a FastPass® system at the LA County Court.

Disney's FastPass®, for those who might not know, is a computer system installed, well, I first encountered on my Summer of 2000 trip to Walt Disney World. Sometime in 2000, I guess. Anyway, through "science" and "math" the bright minds at Disney can figure out how busy a specific attraction is, and instead of making you wait in line for it, you're given a time in the future to come back and pretty much walk right on the ride. This is how Disney explains it:

I don't understand how it works at all, but it sure works, and works well. Something about complex algorithms that take into account the length of lines and the number of people who opt to return later, so that FastPass can assign return times that alleviate the congestion rather than merely transferring it from one time period to another. Or something.

Now, why would Disney do this? It all stems from someone, no doubt a merchandise executive, who wanted to figure out how guests could spend more money. "They're spending too much time in lines! Get rid of them!" "Get rid of the guests?" "No, the lines!"

Ah, the joy of public companies. Find a way to make more money, and the sky is the limit. Sadly the LA County Criminal Court has no reseach and development budget. So each day everyday a couple of hundred poor shlubs drive downtown, park in one overcrowed lot, walk four blocks to the courthouse, go through security, wait forever for an elevator, then sit in a room for hours, sometimes days - up to ten of them - to maybe get on a jury.

The joys of civic service.

So think about it. There has to be a way for the LA County Criminal Court to write a complex algorithm that would take into account the average number of jurors called each day, how many people would postpone or get out for one reason or another, how many people would just flake, and crunch all of the numbers.

Then, say, instead of having to report at 7:45 am on Monday and sit around for up to ten days, you'd receive a FastPass® ticket that assigns you a one-hour window of time to come to the courthouse. Maybe 3 pm on Friday. 2 pm on Wednesday.

So you show up, watch the pre-show video with Mario Lopez ("Saved By The Bell"s A.C. Slater) while in que for security, maybe have a WED-Way People Mover on your way to the holding pen, and then an audio-animatronic® "History of the Jury Process" while waiting your one hour to possibly be selected for jury duty. Kind of like an afternoon at a theme park.

Ah, if only Disney ran the court system...

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Last Updated on: May 13, 2002

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