December 3, 2009

Jury Duty


I've received a Jury Duty summons 4 times in my life, so far. Of those 4 times I gone through Jury selection once. The time I went through Jury selection I could tell the Judge and attorneys liked me and were a little sad to see me go when the Judge had to excuse me for a pre-scheduled vacation. (I was going to Tijuana for a week, with my church, to build houses for the less fortunate. The Judge wasn't about to tell me I had to stay). Why were they sad to see me go? Because I actually wanted to be there.

The majority of people the court house deals with are trying to think of any way they can to get out jury duty. Google "Jury Duty", there are like a bajillion websites on how to get out of Jury Duty. I want nothing more than to actually serve on a Jury. Am I crazy? According to most people yes.

Tell someone you have to go to Jury Duty and they roll their eyes, tell you their sorry or wish you luck. I'm excited. Sure, I don't want to wake-up earlier and drive farther than I would to go to work to get to the Court House, but the process fascinates me. I'd liked to, at least once, go all the way through jury selection, serve on a jury, deliberate etc. I think it would be really interesting.

Why am I bringing this up now? I reported for Jury Duty on Monday. I was really excited to spend some time with a book (one I started before the wedding and have yet to finish. School really gets in the way of my book reading) and possibly get on a jury. Around 10 o'clock I was chosen to come back on Thursday for jury selection on a long trial. I later came to find out (after to phone calls to the court house regarding my class schedule interfering with the trial and the amount of time my employer will pay for me to be on a jury) I found out the trial would be 3 months long.

Today I reported back to the court house and learned about a truly fascinating case that I would not be able to serve on because stupid life is getting in the way. Not only can I not live on $15/day once my 10 days with my employer runs out, but I have class Tuesday mornings starting in January, when the trial starts. The little bit of information (and the 22 page questionnaire I filled out) led me to believe a trial like this would challenge me and my beliefs, in a way I haven't been in a really long time.

It's a good thing I take my last final, for the quarter, tonight. I need to read a book or take on a hobby that will stimulate a different part of my brain.

Question 1 - Am I alone? Does anyone else want to serve Jury Duty?

Question 2 - Any good book recommendations? (I don't like historic fiction)


13 comments:

writtenbliss said...

That's disappointing. I've always wanted to do jury duty, too, but it would be really inconvenient with my work schedule.

MoreThanMyOwnLife said...

I have *always* wanted to be called for Jury Duty. I can't wait to take part one day. Hopefully it won't come at an inconvenient time.

Jessica Lynn said...

Okay, it's not exactly jury duty, but my best friend is obsesses with the law and is currently at law school. When we were in college all she wanted was to get arrested (so she could critique how they did with the law). Well, one night she was driving us home as the DD and one of our taillights was out. Low and behold, she got pulled over and put in the back of a cop car.

So sorry that i just hijacked your comment section, but your story reminded me of that for some reason!

HisBirdie (Ali) said...

Jessica - Hijack away :) How did she end up getting put in the cop car?

megan marie said...

I just finished up a seven day trial! It was super interesting, but I couldn't help but be stressed since my employer does not pay for any days off, so I lost a lot of $ by missing so many days of work.

sassandpancakes said...

I've ALWAYS wanted to serve jury duty! I was called once but they cancelled it before I got to go in.

TwoWishes said...

I'm with you on the jury duty -- especially as a former litigator and judicial clerk. Unfortunately, no one WANTS a lawyer on their jury because they're secretly hoping the jurors decide on feelings and not on legal points. The one time I was actually up for a panel, both lawyers did backflips to get the judge to excuse me. (It was funny because my work was boring and I wanted to serve. They kept giving me openings to ask to be excused, and I wouldn't take them....) Will keep trying!

violarulz/ducksandbooks said...

I've always wanted to too, but the one time I got a notice, my number got excused 2 days beforehand so I didn't even get to miss work. CO is awesome about jury duty, 2 days paid wages and then $50/day (or divided by 8 for the number of hours you would have worked). Sadly, as a paralegal [before the Great Recession turned me into a bakery assistant] I probably would have been quickly dismissed in the same way TwoWishes was.

Geek in Heels said...

I have wanted to serve on jury duty ever since I became a U.S. Citizen in 2001 (the road to the citizenship wasn't the easiest and so I was so proud to become one and participate in all citizens-only practices). However, all three times that I was called were at VERY inopportune times so I couldn't. :-( I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next!

Krista said...

I'm a big fan of jury duty and I actually have to go on Monday, but my current employer only pays for 2 days *and* I'm super busy with work. But, even if I was selected I would want to serve :)

Christiana said...

I want to serve on a jury so badly! Eachtime I've been called for a panel I've been rejected. Once case was a child molestation case and I worked with children. Another was a toxic mold case, and I have a degree in environmental science. bogus. :(

Maggie said...

I have always wanted to be on a jury, but as an attorney, no one will take me even if I ever do get called again (I used to live in a tiny county where even when I got "called" I never actually even made it to the county to serve). As for books - have you read The Blind Side? I saw the movie and am now reading the book and it's really good. But I also love football :) And Michael Lewis.

Katie said...

So interesting! I think it would be interesting to get called to serve...but as of yet I haven't!

As for a book, I am currently finishing The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold (who wrote The Lovely Bones)...interesting moral dilemma transpiring between a mother and daughter...its an easy/quick read, but I like it so far!

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