March 3, 2014 · 9:58 pm
On my second week of being on call for jury duty, I was slightly less nervous than the first go round. The biggest plus is that I knew I would get home far earlier than I do from work, so my kids would be thrilled. But I just didn’t want to do it. Why? Well, for me the biggest thing would probably be that I worry too much about things, and the idea makes me a nervous wreck. But what about most people?
I had a conversation with a friend, who stated that she wouldn’t feel comfortable sending someone to jail even if she was fairly certain that person was guilty. Who was she to judge? Valid point.
But just like everything else, there’s a flipside: What if the accused had done something terrible to me or to my loved one? Wouldn’t I want a jury of my peers to spend their time listening to witnesses, examining evidence, and determining the truth? Doesn’t someone deserve the same courtesy from me when they are the victim?
This really left me wondering where our send of duty is. I mean, after all, it’s called jury duty. Not jury onlyifyoureallyfeellikeit.
Have you been called for jury duty before? I’d love to hear about it!
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photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono via freedigitalphotos.net
February 24, 2014 · 2:20 pm
I was one of the lucky citizens chosen for jury duty. Ok, it’s my civic duty, it’s part of our what makes our country so great, blah blah blah. Honestly, when I first got the summons, I cried. (In my defense, I’d had a really bad day.) I was absolutely terrified. I hadn’t even ever been to the courthouse, nor did I know where to park or where to go once I got inside. For someone with a bit of social anxiety (yes, I once paid someone to go to the DMV and get my sticker renewed for me), this is a mortifying prospect.
Of course, any time you go to a place like the courthouse, you have to be thoroughly inspected. I wasn’t overly concerned about this, because what do I have to hide? A quick jaunt through the metal detector and I’m good to go. Except for the guard that was watching my purse go through the fancy x-ray machine. “Ma’am, why do you have two wallets?”
Um, what? I don’t have two wallets in my purse, but I’m also hard pressed to see what the problem would be if I did. Perhaps I’m very particular about my credit cards touching. He pointed to the slim metallic rectangle on the screen, with a harsh, “What is that?”
Turns out it was my business card holder. A weapon of mass destruction for sure.
After a very stern “You’re free to go, ma’am”, I was herded with the other jury members to a stuffy basement room, where I remained for most of the day. I have no doubt that most of those surrounding me were thinking the same thing I was: how the hell to get out of this? I didn’t know any of the people involved in the trial (my fault for being so anti-social). I cast surreptitious glances at my other jury mates, and for a moment wished I was the guy with the mohawk, or the gauged out ears, or the villainous eyebrows. Oh, or the girl that showed up in yoga pants, or the woman that I’m fairly certain didn’t speak English.
In the end, I didn’t get picked, but I’ll still be on call next week. I think I’ll leave my business card holder in the car.