Monday, August 06, 2007

Juror #9 by John Grisham... I mean Cheez

Today was the day that I reported for jury duty. There were a couple hundred of us there crammed in a room. It was quite warm.

We went through orientation, which included a video, a brief bio, and stating whether or not we would be able to sit on the jury for a 10-day trial. Collective groan. Each name was called and we had to say Yes or No. They wouldn't let us count loss of wages as a valid reason to say no, so I said yes.

Once they were done with that, they gave us a half-hour break. Then they called out 40 people. I wasn't among them. Everyone else did a "whew-ha! Got out of that one!" thing, thinking that we had escaped the 10-day trial.

We were told that we could leave for now, but that we needed to report back at 1:15 to see if we would be needed for another trial.

Since the courthouse is relatively close to home, I went home and had lunch, and played some games with the Bear.

When I reported back, they immediately called out another group of 45 people, of which I was not one. Again, I thought I had escaped. Then they proceeded to call another group of 45. I was number 9. From that point on I was referred to by my new name of "Juror #9". Once the 45 had been called, we were informed that we were the potential jurors for the 10-day trial. CRAP!

We were escorted up to the courtroom, and placed in our numbered seats. I recognized the Defense Attorney, because he is in my ward, and is also my Home Teacher. (He visits monthly with his son, and leaves us a spiritual thought.) I figured that would be my key out.

Once they got going, the Judge (a woman) introduced the Prosecutor, and asked if anyone knew him. Nope. Then they introduced the Defense Attorney and asked the same question. I raised my hand. I had to explain that I knew him through church. My idiot switch turned on when she asked if it went any further beyond knowing him from church, like had we done anything together. I proceeded to tell her that we had been on a camping trip. I was thinking of the ward campout, but then I realized that he wasn't there. My brain was spinning, because I knew we had done something together.

Then I remembered that he was one of the guys I had been golfing with in my earlier post. He had given me a blank look, as if to say, "What are you talking about?" Then I corrected myself. Then she asked if there were anything else, like does he come over for dinner or anything? "No, Ma'am." I sat down, turned bright red, then did my best to shut up the rest of the time. Unfortunately, several more questions required a response from me. Things like:
"Do you know anyone that has a concealed gun permit?" Hand goes up. "Father-in-law."
"Do you know anyone who has every been convicted of a crime?" Hand goes up. "Brother-in-law."
"Do any of you know anyone in law enforcement?" Hand goes up. "Wifes Cousins".

I was eventually selected to be in the "trusted juror" pool from which the actual 14-member jury would be chosen. That meant that they felt we had the ability to be impartial. We had a 15 minute break, after which they pulled us in, called the numbers of 14 jurors and sent the rest home. I got to go home.

DramaMama was freaking out when I would call her on our breaks. She was so worried about what that would do to us financially, having to miss so many days of work. She was praying all day that I wouldn't get chosen. It worked.

It was a criminal trial for attempted murder. The plaintiff is permanently disabled from the incident. The defendant was black and had just turned 20. He looked rather scared and nervous. From the questions the Defense Attorney was posing to the jurors, I got the impression that they were going for a self-defense thing, saying perhaps that the plaintiff may have instigated the thing but lost the fight.

I imagine that the fact that I knew the Defense Attorney, and that my brother-in-law was convicted of an almost identical crime, was the reason I was eventually booted.

DramaMama was greatly relieved when I called to tell her that I had been bumped.

Since I know the defense attorney quite well, I think I'll ask him about it after it is all over to see what happened.



At August 07, 2007 7:39 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

The Joys of Jury Duty. I've yet to be selected, though I've appeared twice (in less than Five years). The state seems to forget that it's three years before you can be called to serve again.

Ph well...the way I see it when I move (if all goes well with the new job) I'll get a notice again saying you need to come in. Seems every time I move and change my license I get called :D

At August 08, 2007 9:26 AM, Blogger drama mama said...

Happy Day! We won't end up in the poor house! Or...poorer house as the case may be!

From the Devil

At August 11, 2007 1:16 PM, Blogger WendyWings said...

Wow so you AND Brad Pitt have both done jury duty this week awesome LOL
Have a great weekend !!


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