Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Jury Duty: Day 3

Another day, another courtroom. Today we got to play in the big kid's courtroom, one that actually has a jury box rather than a row of chairs shoved against the wall, and that had ample space for all the folks who had shown up for jury duty. Of course, none of this meant that the efficiency of the jury system was at all improved. We sat, and waited, and waited some more while they made sure we all had our number badges. We were back to the jury coordinator from day 1, who seemed somewhat more efficient (only by comparison) than the one from day 2, so after only 45 minutes or so, she let us know that only half of us would be required to come in on Thurs, and the other half on Friday. Of course, rather than just say, "jurors number 1-30 come tomorrow, 31-60 on Friday," she had to randomly select our numbers and then listen to all the sob stories of people who wanted to come Friday but not Thurs or vice versa. Next, we got a five minute break. Then we sat some more. Finally, she went through and randomly chose 25 people to stick around as potential jurors and sent the rest of us home.

It was interesting to note that this was the first defendant who wasn't African-American (note there were no African-Americans in the entire jury pool) and the judge this time didn't tell us what the charge was. It was also interesting to watch the interaction between the various jurors. I've made a few friends already, but there were some folks who clearly hadn't cultivated any acquaintances yet and were just dying of boredom. It was fun to watch them finally give up and force the people sitting next to them into awkward conversations. I did find out that the defendants in the first trial were found not guilty due to lack of evidence, and that apparently it was a fairly interesting case.
One day to go; we'll see if I actually get selected this time!

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