Dan Marino, like all American adults with a driver's license and no felony convictions, occasionally gets called for jury duty. He dutifully showed up at Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, ready to take on his civic obligations. That's when something happened that probably doesn't happen to potential jurors who aren't Dan Marino.
Here's how Marino tells it, via the Sun-Sentinel:
He was assigned to a courtroom, but said he didn't make it there because another judge told him he could go.
"I was told by the judge before that they were dismissing me," Marino said. "I just went where I was told to go. I was told I could leave."
And here's a court spokesperson's version:
Flanked by two Broward Sheriff's deputy escorts, Marino was en route to his assigned courtroom via an elevator reserved for judges when he ran into County Judge Edward Merrigan Jr.
The pair chatted and Merrigan, mistakenly thinking that Marino was at the end of his jury service rather than at the beginning of it, personally escorted Marino from the building.
Iris Siple, chief administrator for the Clerk of Courts, said Merrigan took the extra step of taking "Marino to the jury room and signed his card, dismissing him."
Special elevator. Armed escort. Judging "mistakenly" thinks Marino has served his time, and no one corrects him. Judge takes Marino directly to the jury room to sign him out. It's safe to say that very few people believe that this was a string of coincidences, as opposed to a star-struck judge and special treatment for a very famous Floridian. (Which isn't to say Marino shouldn't have been dismissed, as his presence would likely derail any case he was seated for. He should just have to sit in a miserable, unventilated jury room all day like the rest of us.)