Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jury Duty

In August I received my notice for Circuit Court jury duty for a four month period beginning September 1 and ending December 31. I reported for orientation as instructed and the group summoned was divided into 3 jury pools....Tuesday jurors, Wednesday jurors and Thursday jurors. I am one of the Tuesday jurors. I have to call every Monday to see if I have to report the following day.

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Last Tuesday was the first day the Tuesday jurors had to report -- we got lucky for a few weeks. And then I had to report again today. I know that this is my civic duty but it sure has left a bad taste in my mouth .

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The first obstacle one encounters when reporting for jury duty is finding a parking place within a reasonable distance from the courthouse. Let's face it, I'm 63 years old with problems with my back and hip so walking any distance is not always the most pleasant thing for me. So make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to find a place to park.

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Then it's hurry up and wait outside in the hall when you get to your assigned courtroom. The hallway is lined with the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE WOODEN BENCHES. If you are early enough, you can find a seat while you wait to be called into the courtroom. I gather that early morning is set aside for entering pleas, etc. So while you are sitting in the hall waiting for the jury pool to be called in, there are prisoners handcuffed and shackled being taken in and out of the courtroom in front of you. What an experience!!

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Finally the door opens and the jury pool gets to enter the courtroom. The seats in the courtoom are not much of an improvement over the torture chamber benches in the hallway. The Baliff calls the roll to see who did show up.

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Last week after roll call, the judge came into the courtroom and told us that the defense attorney was sick and the trial was postponed. Now I don't wish bad health on anyone but I sure was relieved when we were excused and could leave.

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Today after the roll call we were told that the attorneys had some motions to make and we were to wait in the hall. So back out into the hall we went for some more hurry up and wait. Finally we were called back into the courtroom. As I entered the courtroom, I saw the attorneys packing up and leaving. That was a good clue that we were going to be excused for the day. The judge told us that the defense attorney had entered a motion to have the trial continued at a later date...seems his client had taken drugs and attorney felt that he had diminished capacity with regard to helping with his defense. The motion was granted. What does that say about our legal system? So once again we were excused and could leave. This is how I spent my morning.

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I am relieved that I have not yet had to go through jury selection and face the possibility of serving on a jury. Been there, done that about 12 years ago and once was more than enough for me. I am ready to go back to hearing the recording "Tuesday jurors do not have to report" when I call in on Mondays.

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Meanwhile, I am going to the chiropractor tomorrow!!!!

Judy

5 comments:

Glee said...

Ah, the "trials" of jury duty; I feel for you, my Friend! The first and only time I was ever called, I made the jury and had to work on a lengthy trial of a traumatic child custody case....it was not fun at all and I am hoping that they don't ever call me again or at least give me a few more years without calling me so I can recover fully.

Kylie w Warszawie said...

Strangely, I always get called for jury duty when I am on "vacation" back in the States. You know, at a time when I could actually go. It's like they know. The last few times, I was back for the birth of a child and I wrote to them saying that I was VERY pregnant and could not serve on a jury.

My husband, on the other hand, has some kind of military exception on his record. Which they won't let me do. Which is unfair, because I live WITH him. And when they do call me when I am not back in the States, I usually don't get the summons until it's been about a month since I was supposed to show.

We're going back in December. I hope the odds are in my favor.

RobinDiane said...

Wonder if you could get a handicapped tag so you could park closer?

ScrapMomOf2 said...

Wow, that is not a good experience. I have only been called a couple of times, and excused both times. I think everyone dreads it, because you just never know what to expect! I hope your back feels better!

Deb Wood said...

Ugh sounds like severe torture!! Yep our system at its best!!

Enjoy the chiropractor!!