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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Trials and Tribulations: Jury Duty Day 1

I have a bunch of things to blog about--October was a super busy month for me--so for the next while, all my posts will be about what happened that month. I was going to do it chronologically, but then I decided to talk about them as they came to me.

For the first time in my life, I was summoned for jury duty. In October, a month that was already hyper on the busy scale. I could have deferred it, but then I thought what if I get called again at an even worse time than right now? Besides all the people in my department who'd been called for jury duty served one day and were released. I could afford one day to get this over with.

I arrived early on Monday, before the courthouse even opened, but I have a problem with getting lost even with GPS and always leave extra time just in case. This time I didn't need it because the courthouse was easy to find, but as it turned out, arriving early was a good thing because there wasn't enough parking in the lot and people who got there later had to park illegally. They were told not to worry about it, but I know I would have stressed over it anyway.

We had to pass through a metal detector and none of us knew where to go--the jury pool was all clutching their summons, me included. I finally asked one of the deputies. We received a sticker that said "Juror" and had to wait in a big holding room.

On the first day, I grabbed a spot next to the outlet so I could charge up my phone or iPad if I needed to. There was a big movie screen like they have in high schools pulled down at the front of the room and one of the local affiliates was left on all day long. It was a stark reminder of how bad daytime television is.

Day one had one group pulled up to be questioned/considered for a civil case and late in the afternoon, a second group of 25 was held for a panel interview and the rest of us were told to report back on Tuesday.

What? I said. Everyone only serves one day. That's when I was informed that they had a lot of cases this week to seat juries for including two big ones--a child molestation trial and a murder trial. Gah!

Now I've been told that attorneys don't like to seat authors on juries. I don't know if this is true or not, but I was going to wave my author banner like a madwoman. I didn't want to be seated on either jury, although given my strong opinions on what should be done to child molesters, I was pretty sure they'd never put me on that case, but that did leave the murder trial.

Since I talked so much already, I'll save Day 2 for another post.