Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I didn't get to throw the book at anyone...

I went to the big city today to do my civic duty...Jury duty! This is the 3rd time in about a year I have been called to serve before that it was 31 years since my last summons.

I took the bus in, something I haven't done regularly for over 6 years. It took an hour to get there. There is a county courthouse about 10 minutes from my home, but I don't get a choice to go there. It makes about as much sense as having my mother-in-law who lives in the big city get sent to suburbia where I live to serve her jury duty. She had to take 3 buses to get there. It hasn't gotten any better going to the city and still took an hour for me to get there. I check in and then wait. After a while we get to listen to instructions, watch an instructional video and then wait some more. The clerk finally calls names for the first jury panel. 40 names, I was number 13. Off to the 7th floor to meet the bailiff. She has us line up in numerical order and then leads us to the courtroom. She stops and says, "number 13, please come to the front of the line" Hey that's me, what the heck did I do now, I haven't even set foot in the courtroom yet. Well, number 13 gets to lead the first 12 into the jury box and number 13 gets to sit right next to them. The others just took seats in the spectator section. Then the judge gives us more instructions, he introduces the cast - defendant, his attorney, the prosecutor, the clerk, the court reporter. Then he reads the charges and asks us if we know any of the witnesses listed. Finally the judges starts asking us questions to see what kind of people we are. Most of us seem fairly normal, just doing our duty. There was one nutcase who on hearing that this was a drug related case decides to expound on his beliefs that the USA is wasting taxpayers money on the war on drugs, yada yada yada. Every time the panel was asked something, this guy had something to say. Finally it's lunch, and we all race out of there for an hour and a half.

After lunch, the prosecutor and the defense attorney ask their questions. Then they start eliminating jurors. I was the first one the defense excused. I think it might have had something to do with the fact my husband is a cop. I don't know if Mr. political activist got dismissed or not. Anyway it was 3pm and I was so ready to go home. And since it went til 3pm I only had to take one bus home. If I had had to leave earlier I'd have had to take at least 2 buses and it would have been 2 hours to get home instead of an hour. All this fun for $10 a day.


  1. Holy cow! I've never been called for jury duty! Maybe I move around too often or something. Have you ever served on an actual jury, or are you always excused?

  2. I've never served but I think I would like to.