Please provide transportation directly from my home (1024 N. Claiborne Ct., Gilbert, Arizona 85234) to courthouse and directly back home after proceedings so I will be as rested as any other juror when I appear.
Please advise judge that my guide dog, Lane, rises at 'All Rise!' The first 'all rise', he will likely rise before anyone else, thus provoking much laughter from jurors and other court room participants. The judge may not see him rise. Court room participants will not be laughing at the judge. Please do not advise participants to not laugh because they may not be able to not laugh at Lane at that first occurance (of 'All Rise!').
Please provide juror seating on the rear row of the jury box, close to the witness stand. Lane and I should be the last to enter the courtroom and the first to leave.
Please advise judge to advise plantiff's and defendant's attorneys and their witnesses to well describe / explain physical evidence / exhibits (like monetary amounts) presented to jurors.
Please provide minimum of 20 minute breaks every 2 - 3 hours to water and relieve my guide dog.
Please insure access to adequate relieving area. Relieving area does not need to be that close by. If it is some distance away, the walk will help my guide dog relieve more easily by the time we enter the relieving area. It is not necessary that relieving area have extraordinary safe ingress and egress. The route to the relieving area does not have to be any safer than for any other fully sighted pedestrian. My guide dog is trained to safely guide under all high pedestrian and/or high vehicular traffic circumstances. Please remember I may have to relieve myself too (in the Men's room).
If possible, please have court reporter provide ASCII copies of transcript at the end of each court session, or ASCII and/or mp3 copies of voice recordings, on USB memory card, so my computer can read back testimony, if necessary, without my inconveniencing fellow jurors for 'read backs'. I will turn the USB memory card back in at the end of trial.
Please advise security to expect a juror / prospective juror with a guide dog for mobility.
The first time Lane and I enter the courthouse, please have security to clearly explain where I need to be or take me 'sighted guide' to where I need to be. My guide dog with follow the sighted guide person. Thereafter, Lane, my guide dog, will take me where I need to be - even if on a different story than the story we enter at ground level. I get him to the right floor then he returns me to the jury room.
Thank you for the opportunity to faithfully exercise the high calling of my citizenship of the United States.
I apologize for any inconveniences
and/or costs that special accommodation requirements may cause the justice
system but you can be sure I will strive to be as reasonable and imparticial
as any juror selected. 'Justice is Blind.'
Now my guide dog Lane is old. He will be 15 years old on September 03, 2012. Presently, in the very hot Arizona summer season, I only use him during the hours of 4a and 6a - the coolest time of day - if the temperature does not exceed 76 degrees. I doubt court proceedings happen during those early morning hours.
If I attempted to use him in
the extreme heat he and/or I would have a heat stroke for sure.
Robert M. Thomas
Academic Professional Faculty Emeritus
Arizona State University
Improving lives of people with little or no sight!