You’re A Grand Ol’ Jury

With no way out, I accept my civic duty. Still, there are a few things about this process that just rub me the wrong way

So there I sat, filled with the hope that I would be passed up for Jury Duty. As I waited, I found out that the service I was called to was not the one you see on TV. I would not be sitting, deliberating over the fate of some poor soul’s guilt or innocence. Instead, I’d be part of the group that actually decides whether a case should go to trial. And then I was picked.

I thought, “Wow, this will be a great bit of fodder for my site.” Sadly, there’s this little snafu in my plans. You see, by order of the court, I can’t say anything about anything that goes on in the jury room, no matter how cool it may be.

As much as I love to get inspiration from all sorts of places, jail time just is not a reasonable price to pay. Still, there are a few things about this process that just rub me the wrong way. Can I write about those. Well…

This notion that jury duty is some kind of “opportunity” that we are “privileged” to be part of was repeated throughout the day. But, that tone was conspicuously overshadowed by a sense of irrefutable obligation.

There is a fine or even jail time for not showing. The judge assigned to my group has refused to hear any excuses. No matter what your situation may be, his only compromise would be to possibly reschedule.

I’m one of the lucky ones who will get paid for my timed missed at work. With an antiquated rate of a mere $5.00 a day, many folks were voicing their discontent. Do the courts really think this is ample compensation? One girl serving with me will be losing money for each day here.

Then there was the all-to flippant attitude of the judge. He actually said things like, “I understand the inconvenience,” and “This building sucks. The chairs are uncomfortable. The AC doesn’t work right,” and (my favorite), “Thanking you for this privilege is hard to say since you are forced to be here.”

Now, I know this sounds like defeated acceptance, but I really am looking forward to performing my civic duty. I want to be part of this crucial step of our judiciary system. I will serve as best as I can and hopefully learn a thing or two.

I just won’t be able to tell you all about it.


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