September 3, 1999

Giuliani, the Jury

by Gary Krist

NY Mayor Chosen for Civil Jury
-- News Headline

JUDGE: This court is now in session. In the matter of--

MAYOR: Excuse me, your honor, but I just want to make a few statements here at the outset.

JUDGE: Mr. Mayor, it's not customary for a jury member in a State Supreme Court proceeding to express his opinions in open court.

MAYOR: With all due respect, judge, I didn't single-handedly take the City of New York from the brink of disaster and turn it into the safest, most prosperous big city in the country by following custom. And I think we can save the taxpayers of this city a lot of money by cutting through the preliminary nonsense and getting right to the facts of the case.

PLAINTIFF'S LAWYER: Objection, your honor. I believe it's the responsibility of counsel in this case to present the evidence.

MAYOR: Evidence, schmevidence. We all know the facts here, but it's creeps like counsel over there who need to turn cases like this into long, drawn-out affairs so they can earn their exorbitant fees.


JUDGE: Mr. Mayor, I must ask you to observe the rules of this court--

MAYOR: I know the rules of this court, judge. Most New Yorkers will remember that I was a federal prosecutor in this city and single-handedly brought organized crime to its knees--and it wasn't by letting defense lawyers control the courtroom, for crying out loud.

JUDGE: But you are a juror in these proceedings, sir, not a prosecutor.

MAYOR: What I am in these proceedings is a New Yorker, serving on a jury with my fellow New Yorkers, in pursuit of justice for New Yorkers. And unlike others I could name, I don't need to take a listening tour to learn about my homestate. You want to know the capital of Saratoga County? Ballston Spa. And that's way upstate. So there!

JUDGE: Mr. Mayor, I insist that we follow proper procedures in my courtroom.

MAYOR: What is this excessive concern with rules and procedures? It's a sickness, judge. Maybe you should go consult a psychiatrist with this--how you're devoting your life to rules and procedures instead of justice.

DEFENDANT'S LAWYER: Your honor, I call for a mistrial!

MAYOR: A mistrial! Can you believe this hypocrite? So we're supposed to throw this whole thing out and start over?

JUDGE: Will the bailiff please remove the juror from this courtroom.

MAYOR: Okay, so maybe as a juror I'm a little confrontational. But I didn't single- handedly overturn decades of soft-headed liberal politics in this city by being warm and cuddly. And if getting the job done takes alienating a lawyer or a judge--or even a Governor or two--well, that's who I am and I'm too old to change now.

JUDGE: Bailiff!

MAYOR: In fact, I've already reached a verdict in this case.


MAYOR: Enough with the objections, already! This jury finds for the People of the State of New York.

JUDGE: Mr. Mayor, the People of the State of New York are not even a party to this lawsuit.

MAYOR: My point exactly. So why are we here, wasting the taxpayer's money? Case closed! That was simple, right? Now, anybody need a ride back to City Hall?

Gary Krist is the Maryland author of two novels, "Bad Chemistry" and the forthcoming "Chaos Theory."