Justice is looking up, now that a cat has been invited to participate in the process. This ground-breaking development happened in that cradle of progressiveness, Massachusetts. (Well, not so progressive since it turned red last week.)
A gray and white cat named Sal from East Boston has been summoned for jury duty.
Sal’s owner, Anna Esposito, thinks it’s because she named Sal on a census form. It was only asking about dogs (why?), but she wrote in “Cat” and Sal’s name.
Anna tried to get Sal disqualified from serving, but some brilliant jury commissioner denied her request. If Massachusetts law is like Virginia’s, if Sal doesn’t appear at Suffolk Superior Court on March 23, he could be held in contempt and face arrest.
To keep Sal out of the slammer, Anna says she’ll let Sal have his day in court, if necessary.
The joke will be on the commissioner if the trial runs long and Sal decides he needs to use the jury box for another purpose.
Any perp who gets Sal as a juror should be grateful because it will streamline the trial. The lawyers must keep their arguments snappy or Sal will tune them out for a catnap.
In the deliberation room, the other jurors can get mellow by petting Sal’s soft fur and reach a verdict without bickering over any evidence. Sal himself won’t pussyfoot in casting his vote if he smells a rat.
Unfortunately, Massachusetts doesn’t have the death penalty, which cats have always found it the most efficient way to keep vermin off the streets. But who knows? Today a cat on a jury, tomorrow a cat on the Supreme Court.