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Jury Duty

Forgot to mention I got called for jury duty a couple of weeks ago.

I went down to the county courthouse at the appointed time and watched an instructional video with about 40 other jurors.  Then a deputy gave us the standard speech: “Oh, these things rarely go all day, even.  You should be out of here by 5 or so.”  Then we were separated into two groups based on our assigned numbers and the group I wasn’t in was escorted down to a courtroom.  A few minutes later the deputy returned and said, “Well, now that you’re gone I can tell you their trial is scheduled to last three days.”  Nice.

Then my group of 20 went down to another coutroom and 13 of us were called to sit in the jury box; I was number 3.  As it was to be a civil case involving more than $15 thousand, there would be only 7 jurors in the end.  We were asked general questions as a group: Are you an American citizen? Have you lived in this county more than 6 months?  Do you have any health issues that would prevent you from serving? Etc.  Then the two attorneys were asked to excuse 3 jurors each, with no need to justify their choices.

I was the first one cut.  So how am I supposed to feel in that situtation?  Relieved to have the rest of my day free?  Insulted that someone didn’t want me?  I have to say that after spending the whole morning wishing I was somewhere else, by the time I was sitting in that box I was actually getting interested in the process, and wanting to hear the case.   (The judge seemed cool, too: He advised us not to watch him during the trial lest we read something into his expressions that might bias us one way or the other.  “Don’t read anything into it. During the course of the day, I make funny faces for any number of reasons.”)

Anyway, I figure my removal was either totally random (one…two…remove…four…five…remove…) or it was down the fact that I was only one of two male jurors wearing a tie (we both were excused).  Out of the male jurors remaining, all were dressed way down, which may have conveyed a “blue collar” or “down-to-Earth” appeal.  Or something.

Either way, here’s hoping I don’t get called in again; I’ve got two weeks left on my term of service.  But considering I’ve been eligible to serve for 26 years and this is the first time I’ve been summonsed, I figure I’m already ahead of the game.

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