Weather, juries and Xanax in the high plains

On May 14, 2013, Lincoln, Nebraska set a record high of 100 F. breaking the old record of 96 F. set in 1915.  This was the earliest in the season that Lincoln has seen 100 F. or higher based upon an analysis of 127 years of data (1887-2013).  Two days earlier, Lincoln set a record low of 31 F.  On May 1 and 2, 2013, Lincoln received 2.7 inches of snow with lightning and thunder.  High winds created blizzard conditions on I-80, the major east-west highway.  Two days before that temperatures were in the mid 80s.

Imagine you are a judge and want to select a jury for one of your  criminal cases. Realize, please, that many of the jurors in the “Lincoln jury wheel” will have to commute up to 170 miles from very remote places in central Nebraska to attend jury selection and trial in Lincoln.

Now visualize the judge’s conversation with the jury coordinator. He tells her to get enough jurors for a criminal trial to start on May 1, 2013.  The Speedy Trial clock is about to run.  The judge starts the conversation with the jury coordinator by suggesting that she might first want to look into a script for XANAX®.  That, dear reader, is the real world of federal jury trials in the high plains (even when there are no furloughs).


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