Chicopee jurors

THE jurors in Chicopee, Mass., population 55,000, carry community togetherness a mite far: Every one of them has a 1919 birthdate. Every year 85 million people are added to the world's population, but it must be that for 65 years not one has become a Chicopee juror.

There's no point in questioning these statistics. It's City Hall that says so, and everybody knows you can't fight City Hall.

It seems the voting lists now used for selecting jurors come from -- what else -- a computer system down at Chicopee's City Hall. This year somebody programmed it so that it refused to flip the calendar for jurors. Jack Benny would have felt right at home.

Starting Jan. 1 things will be different. That's when next year's voting lists emerge from a new computer program someone is preparing: Lots of jurors may turn out to have been born in the 1930s, '40s, or any old year at all.

The changed jury statistics will make Chicopee look like a city that takes a census every 65 years, whether it needs one or not.

Unless, of course, the computer makes an -- ahem -- mistake.

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