According to the video they showed at the beginning of jury duty selection on Friday, serving on a jury is the most patriotic thing a civilian can do. I guess it must rank right above voting, wearing a flag lapel pin, and watching FOX News.
Since I didn’t get chosen for the jury, I guess that makes me a somewhat patriotic person who was chosen last for the PE volleyball game. Or something like that.
Here’s my other thoughts on my two-day service:
1. Reporting for jury selection was surprisingly efficient. The bailiff who conducted it had a sense of humor, didn’t talk down to us, and spoke to us with respect. I was pleasantly surprised.
2. I was wonderfully amused by the “welcome to jury duty” educational video. They pulled all sorts of movie and TV courtroom clips… I was in vintage Law & Order heaven.
3. I was randomly selected to serve on the same day as one of my friends from church. Sitting through jury selection is a lot more fun when you have someone else to talk to. And it’s a lot more fun when you bring a copy of US Weekly.
4. After my name was called, I was assigned to a panel of 24 people and asked to fill out an information sheet for my judge. Questions included “What’s your favorite television show” (The Bachelor, The Middle… so obviously they must think I’m extremely smart). “Have you ever been the victim of a crime” (the guy next to me, wearing his finest gang gear, wrote in “House got shot at”). And… ar
5. Our jury panel got called back Monday for the voir dire process. And guess who the defense attorney was… look familiar?
Yep, it’s the lady from the billboards.
And the leg hiked up in the skirt… I don’t even have words…
6. After a lecture on Friday by the bailiff about the importance of being early to court, our judge/attorneys made us wait in the hall for over an hour past our start time (plus I had gotten there 30 minutes early out of fear of being late). Nobody bothered to stick their head out and let us know that we’d have to wait… for an hour. Nobody apologized once we started for keeping us sitting on wooden benches in the hallway for an hour with no updates. It would have been nice for someone to at least acknowledge that we’re valued enough to let us know to expect a delay, so I could know if I have time to run to the bathroom or go grab a soda from one of the machines.
7. The prosecuting attorneys were probably my age younger than me. And did a terrible job in voir dire. They would ask questions in such a way that none of us could really understand what they were asking. They were poor communicators.
8. The defense attorney was quite intense. She scared me a little. She memorized all of the jurors’ names and every time I heard “Don’t you agree, Mrs. Right?” I would wince a little, as if I was the one on the stand. It was kind of like high school when you hoped the teacher wouldn’t call on you in class. She lectured us on how DWI arrests, if left undefended, could lead to tyranny in America, and that as a juror we were the bedrock of freedom (or something to that effect), and how only 1 in every 100 DWIs leads to death, so we shouldn’t choose to trade our freedom for safety.
9. It turns out that a baptist minister’s wife who happens to be related to a cop isn’t a very attractive juror for a DWI case. Imagine that.
10. I made $40 for my two days of service… just enough to get a deluxe pedicure at my favorite spot.
Thank you, America! It was a pleasure serving you.