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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reprieve from Jury Duty...Yay!

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Yesterday I sat through a jury selection process from 8:30 to noon, and boy was it the longest 3 1/2 hours ever!  The benches were hard as stone, I was starving, and it was just plain boring.  We did have some occasional laughs though, and it was interesting to hear some of the excuses people use to TRY to get out of jury duty!

We were told to be in our assigned seats by 8:30 am.  At 9, the clerk came in to call the role.  Two individuals decided not to show up for some reason and officers were sent to "collect" them.  Hmmm... We were ready to start the selection process in a civil case between two business owners when they decided they'd just settle outside of court.  At this point I was thinking great, I came up here for nothing, but my musings were put to rest when the judge declared there was another case to try.  This one was a criminal case involving a 3rd offense shoplifter.  After 3 hours of being questioned by the judge and attorney for each side, I was dismissed.  Phew! I was the 5th juror and everyone else sitting on my row was picked for the jury except me.  How did I get so lucky you ask?  I happened to be the neighbor of one of the police officers testifying in the case. :)  I'm so glad too because those poor jurors didn't even get to start the case until after lunch and were there the rest of the afternoon while I got to have lunch with my sister and spend time with my Mom and girls.

I luckily didn't have to go back today, and I'm hoping they won't need me tomorrow.  Don't get me wrong, the teacher in me believes it is everyone's civic duty to serve as a juror if need be, but in my opinion, they could come up with a better process for selection.  It takes forever just to get started and to pick a jury!  By the time the jury is picked, no one really wants to sit through a trial!  This is the exact reason so many people dread being called to jury duty.  Oh well, at least it's for only a week at a time!


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