Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Doing my Civic Duty

Well, then, since I already got a ticket, there was no way I was skipping out on jury duty. And unlike the many lucky people who call in for reporting duty and don't have to show up for jury duty, I was told to report right away Monday morning.

This was my first jury duty ever. I woke up early, drove downtown, parked in one of the outerlying parking lots, and walked over to where the shuttle was supposed to pick up the jurors. And waited. Slowly, people joined my little waiting post. One by one until there was a whole group of us and we were all late. Still no shuttle. Finally, someone suggested we take the bus and so we did. Only to arrive at the hall of justice and wait in line to go through security. Then wait in line to have someone take our information. And then scramble for a place to sit. And then....wait some more. All day in fact. I read two books and was never called in to even see a judge.

Oh well, civic duty done.

Have you served jury duty? Ever been on a jury?


kathryn said...

i've received notices in the mail, filled them in but not yet called. i guess we never know when its our ticket?! At least you got 2 books read!!!

euphrony said...

I've done what you did - sit all day and not get called into a courtroom. Boring, but if you're a people-watcher its a great opportunity. I've also been called to jury duty in smaller courts, including one that met at 5:30 pm! But I've never been selected.

~ jen ~ said...

I've been called twice, and was on a jury the first time I was called. A civil case between an Insurance co and a lying dishonest couple. The couple claimed injuries, yet they were seen in bowling tournaments the night after the wreck, and in following weeks. it took us like, an hour to deny their medical claims.

I know what you mean about the hassle of parking, security, and waiting. UGH!

The second time I was called was this past February, but I was excused since I had no back up day care for Sam....ah, I love that!

Amy said...

Wow, Jen, you got on a jury! I'm so jealous!

Euphrony...5:30 pm??? That's crazy. At least I got paid to miss work.

Kathryn...true that about the two books. I was super sleepy though by the end of the day!

Chaotic Hammer said...

Many years ago, I was called for jury duty in downtown Houston.

I was only about 20 years old at the time, and was honestly quite fascinated with being part of the legal system, and seeing our form of government in action.

But the experience turned out to pretty much suck. I sat in the initial gathering area, which was quite large, probably twice as large as a high-school gym, but packed wall to wall with people. Then, they'd call out your name one at a time. In a place that big, as you can imagine, it took a very long time. It was well into the afternoon before I even got called, and there was no break for lunch.

I'm somebody who gets bad headaches when I skip meals, so naturally, I had a horrible headache. Then we got separated into a group of about 36 people I think, and we were briefed about the case we might be trying. It involved somebody who was accused of stealing the T-Tops off an automobile.

They had us fill out a questionnaire, and asked each of us a few questions. Finally, they eventually announced those who were free to go, because either the prosecution or the defense had voted to release us during the jury selection process. I was among those released, and I probably would have expected that if I'd understood how the system works.

I was very young, so my guess is that the prosecution released me based on demographics, thinking I would sympathize with young thieves or vandals, having just been in high school and seeing such pranks as harmless. (Little did they know I was quite conservative and very law-and-order oriented, and probably would have been interested in seeing them severely punished if they were actually guilty). Oh well.

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