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When a scheduling conflict kept D.C. resident Richard Fletcher from jury duty in January, he requested a Friday for his makeup date. He’d heard that prospective jurors were less likely to be seated at the end of the week: Under D.C’s “one trial or one day” policy, reporting on Friday would favor the latter, shorter result. But on April 18, Fletcher found an empty jury room. The never-on-a-Friday theory had been institutionalized: Last month, D.C. Superior Court began seating juries only four days a week. “Fridays were just so light, and judges are generally more likely to start a trial on any other day,” says court spokesperson Leah Gurowitz, who adds that Fletcher is one of a small handful of prospective jurors who’ve missed the notices warning them of the change. Before March, Gurowitz says, aiming for Friday “would have been a good strategy.” Josh Levin
For more than a year, Columbia Heights residents have kept their heads low for fear of foul-mouthed, rock-chucking children. In April 2002, a group of kids in the 1300 block of Kenyon Street called Stephen Kline a “white bitch” and threw stones, one of which hit Kline in the head; during the winter, residents say, children stood outside the neighborhood’s Metro stop, hurling ice balls at commuters. This past weekend, the young snipers escalated their efforts, pelting a 35-year-old man on his porch with stones and, according to community activist Gary Imhoff, breaking a car’s windows with a stick. “It’s pretty clear these kids want attention in a really backwards kind of way,” says Lamont Street resident Caroline Polk, who had half a brick thrown at her last year. “Because it’s kind of new to our area, we’re still brainstorming” on the problem, says the 3rd District’s Lt. Stephanie Hilton, PSA officer for the neighborhood . “We don’t want to put 8-year-olds into the system if we don’t have to.” John Metcalfe