Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jury Selection

I stood shoulder to shoulder with my right hand raised, repeating words as my mind raced with questions Wait a minute! This can't be happening already. No one asked me, well, anything. My husband's a reporter. My background is in journalism. They can't really want me on this jury. Afterwards, it turns out that nearly everyone standing there with their hands up felt the same way. I showed up that morning with my laptop and a book to read. I expected lots of down time to get some writing and reading done. But, after watching a video about the seriousness of jury duty, we all were motioned into the courtroom and we were questioned as a group about our interaction with the law and law enforcement. I had to raise my hand and admit that I'd been in a courtroom with my middle child last fall, but apparently that didn't prevent me from serving either. The judge asked questions. Both lawyers asked questions. No one got to the nitty gritty of our feelings about drugs or drug offenders or lawyers. The sheer truth is that I ended up sitting in a padded jury seat in the front row of the jury box because of my jury number, which was 32. There were probably 60 of us there, and only 13 would be chosen as the 12 jurors and an alternate. The odds seemed in my favor to be sent home. But after the juries let a few people go for upcoming doctor visits or bad backs or childcare issues, they called me to move to a seat in the jury box. And a few minutes later. I was stuck there for the next three days. I wasn't opposed to serving on a jury, but it was the final week before my students' final papers were due. I needed to go through so many last minute details. Plus I was supposed to have a book signing on Tuesday that I had to bail out of because of jury duty. The trial ended today, but I'm still too wrung out to write about it. I'll post tomorrow about the emotional rigors of jury duty. I will say that I had never noticed how much respect the court gives the jury. I didn't realize that everyone stood until the jury came in, even the judge.

6 comments:

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

My dear, I came over to belatedly link to your Dreaming of France meme and discovered your misfortune in being selected for jury duty. Sorry for the disruption, but thank you for adding your intelligence to the jury pool. Perhaps it will be the source of a new story....

Bises,
Genie

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I am totally opposed to it and how we cannot get off it. .. seems like no matter what the reason. Annoying !!!

Esme said...

As an attorney it is interesting to read your comments. I know most jurors feel this way.

Lucia said...

I've been chosen to go for jury selection before but by some miracle they told me I didn't need to come in. I was so relieved. I can't wait to hear more of your story!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I've been called for Jury Duty maybe 4 times in 40+ years and They have never wanted me...LOL Too opinionated I guess:)

Just Me said...

Interesting post Pauli. Good job showing up though it was an inconvenience. I would definitely want you on the jury if I were on either side of the law. Which by the way, I am. Smiles.

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