Yesterday I reported for breathing second-hand smoke duty, AKA jury duty in the city of Saint Louis. You see, despite city code* and state policy** FORBIDDING smoking in this building, someone at the top blatantly disregards the laws, along with the health of anyone who enters the building, by allowing smoking areas inside the building to persist.
When I received my summons a month ago, I promptly wrote a letter to the jury supervisor stating that I would be happy to perform my civic duty if the building were 100% smoke-free and asking to be excused from jury duty until and unless the Civil Courts building complied with city code and state policy. My request was summarily denied, and so I reported as scheduled and discussed my “hardship” with a judge.
The judge and the jury supervisor put on a huge show, with the judge pretending that he had NO idea that there was a smoking lounge in the building — “Michael, is that true?” — that ended with the judge telling me that no, I could not be excused, I needed to go back upstairs to the jury pool, and that if I believed a law were being violated, I should call the police.
Right, like the police are going to come and shut down the smoking lounge.
Me: 0 (and a day of breathing second hand smoke — big time yuck!)
But this fight is not over!
*St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 11.23 Part II
**State of Missouri Administrative Policy SP-11