Jury Duty…

I am confused right now. I am a fine, upstanding citizen of the United States of America in other words very patriotic, American, heck Pro-American, anti-anyone who is against our democracy and the USA. I am no plumber and I defintely don’t qualify to be Joe Six Pack, who is the poster boy of all things good, wholesome and American, just like warm Apple Pie. I wonder if I am truly all that patrioitic, all that American, since I don’t live in the right rural community, in the right state, work the right down home job, drive a F-150 truck with my riffle mounted on the gun-rack, and none of my immediate family members ever served in the military.  I think no one person can define what is American because it’s a mixture of so many different elements. So forget what you heard the candidate say, despite my affinity for riesling, my japanese engineered automobile, my ivy league education, my city address and my fear of gun’s, I’m definitely Pro-America. How do I know? I had jury duty today and it was like Christmas Day for a five year old.

This morning I got up before my alarm went off and immediately got out of the bed no snoozing for me. I was GEEKED, PSYCHED, EXCITED, THRILLED or any other expression of sheer glee that you would use to describe happiness to the third power. I was hungry, I was motivated and ready to lend my impartial judgment to needy plaintiffs and defendants. I ironed my clothes last night, I don’t even do that for work. I was hoping that I would wind up on a jury for a wrongful death or some divorce settlement case that would take at least a week or two.

I was dressed and out the door in twenty minutes. As soon as I got on the expressway I maneuvered into the hov lane. I don’t generally break the law, but I had to ensure that I parked and reported to the courthouse at 8 am. After braving the shuttle, the long lines, the secuity check point (don’t want to have another Brian Nichol’s outburst), and finding my way to the juror room, I was ready to perform my civic duty of providing my fellow american citizens the right to a trial by jury.

Once everyone checked in they showed a video, feauturing Brenda Wood as narrator, that explained what to expect and why jury duty was important. Next two judges came in to thank us and convey the invaluable service we were providing our community. Then the waiting began. I was anxious so I kept shifting in my seat. The men sitting on both sides of me kept looking at me. I smiled and told them both that I was excited to be there. They both just kind of grunted and one got up and moved to another seat. The juror room contained both State and Superior Court prospective jurors. The Superior Court clerks were clearly organized and started calling names as soon as the judges left. I of course was summoned by the State Court who didn’t seem to be as prepared and were slow to get their list of names together.

After about an hour the State Court clerks started calling names. I was in the third set of names that they called. I sntached up my belongings and headed to my designated court room. When I arrived they lined us up in the numerical order that our names were called and then we filed into the court room. Once inside the lawyers asked questions and we raised little numbered fans to indicate our response to the questions. After they finished their questions, they started to ask individual questions starting with juror number one. They got through about 16 jurors and then the judge requested the lawyers to apporach the bench. She then told us that they probably had enough prospective jurors  and so she dismissed the rest of us. I was sad, but I was confident that I would return to the juror room and get selected for anouther case. Wrong! After waiting for about 45 minutes they called my name separately. I thought perfect they want to put me on a special case. Instead they told me that I was free to go. WHAT!?!?! I wanted to be there so I told the clerk, “No, you can’t dismiss me. I really really really want to be selected for a case.” She just replied “Ma’am, you are free to go.” To which I replied “Are you serious? There must be something else you can do, just give me one more chance. I really want a case.”  She just looked at me and then asked “Are you okay?” I smiled and said “Yes, I am perfectly fine.”  She then smirked and said “You are probably the only person who wants to be here today. Oh, you know you can vote across the street if you like, but we have selected enough people so you are free to go.” Her tone made it clear that our discussion about this jury business duty was done. So I frowned and turned to walk away. Then she said “Don’t feel bad, they will call you back in about 18 months I will make sure of it.”


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