Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Juror No. 85A

Yesterday I performed my civic duty by reporting for jury duty. The last time I was called, about 10 years ago, I ended up as foreperson in an attempted murder trial. At the end of the two day trial, I got to declare the defendant's guilt. You don't shoot a person at point blank range with witnesses present and get away with it. Yesterday, while I was one of about 40 potential jurors called in for possible service in a burglary case, I didn't end up in the jury box. Instead I spent most of the day doing work in a quiet environment, while enjoying the wireless access in the jury lounge. During the voir dire for the burglary case, I found out/noticed some interesting things about my fellow jurors and the process:
  • One older man was an intelligence officer in Cameroon for 20 years. He talked to me about how astounded he was by the cost that must be involved in having a jury trial for a burglary case.
  • The jury pool was much more diverse than 10 years ago. That's a good thing.
  • The woman seated next to me ended up being on the jury. I hope she showed up for the trial's continuation today (it was expected to last 2 days). She asked me who she should talk to if she couldn't come back today. I told her that she had to come back if she was selected for the jury, but that if she had a reason why she couldn't be there the next day she should talk to the judge. She didn't.
  • The defense attorney struck the guy who had been a cop for 30 years from the panel, and the prosecutor excused the young African American guy. I would have been surprised if either of those actions hadn't occurred.

Jury service is fascinating for a day, but I'm glad that my name won't be called again for the next several years.

2 comments:

AZMom said...

Hubby gets called constantly. I have only been called once. Now watch, there will be a summons in my mail box tomorrow. LOL

Donna said...

I've only been called once...it was interesting, but I'm with you...I'm glad I don't have to do it for awhile now.