I’ll admit it, I’m a glutton for watching paint dry, which is why I’ve enjoyed the jury voir dire in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Boston Marathon bombing case so much. I’m ready to fast forward through Judge George O’Toole’s daily 12-minute elucidation to potential jurists about why this is a death penalty case even though Massachusetts does not have the death penalty, but other than that repetitious tedium, the proceedings are pretty interesting.

I find it particularly curious that anyone proclaiming a financial hardship is so easily dismissed even though that is one of the metrics for consideration on whether someone is suitable. For instance, a young architectural draftsman was instantly released after saying service would cost him $12,000 to $15,000. I hate to be cruel, but I thought: so? Same with the woman who said she had planned to be away for the February school vacation week. So? Isn’t this what civic duty is all about — isn’t it supposed to be a hardship?

I do however have great sympathy for people who say things like, “My employer will only pay me for three days,” or, “My employer will take away my health benefits and make me pay them.” And I was sympathetic to the guy with the purple ponytail who would have to take a bus from Plymouth every day and lose what little money he makes working part-time at a tanning salon.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t help but notice that the judge often asked women jurors about their husbands before asking anything about them. And while we’re on the subject of women, I get really anxious when the women jurors come off as stupid or out-of-touch. For some reason, it doesn’t bother me when the guys are out to lunch, but when women say they haven’t heard of what happened at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris or are unaware of any other terrorist activities since the marathon bombing, I feel queasy. One woman was so confused she went on and on about how Tsarnaev is obviously guilty because “he was there.” She wound up her interview by saying to the judge, “You told me I would have to choose between the death penalty and life in prison, I did not know 'not guilty' was an option.” She wasn't kidding. And, unlike some of the people who were summarily dismissed after just a few minutes, the judge and several lawyers questioned her for at least 10 minutes.

As for the death penalty, many people are saying they are generally against it, but could make an exception. However, those who are against it for real are adamant. One woman said, when pressed by a prosecution lawyer, that if she voted for the death penalty it would be because “I was bullied into it.” She was dismissed.