Yesterday in the mail I got a summons to jury duty. When I tell any of my friends that I got a summons they usually groan and ask if I can get out of it. I love jury duty. I have wanted to sit on a jury since I first registered to vote at the age of 18. This will be my second time on jury duty, the first being several years ago when I was still employed.
I graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors’ of Science degree in Legal Studies. My daughter is a lawyer. I enjoy listening to and reading about trials in general and most aspects of law. I am a nerd. I used to love writing up briefs for homework. I might not be able to write fiction, but I was great at legal briefs. I dreamed of some day being a lawyer. I took the LSAT. So, jury duty is right up my alley.
Last time I went for jury duty I didn’t have to wait long to be picked to go back to be interviewed as a potential juror in a certain case. I was also picked to sit on the jury. I was excited but nervous. My husband had served earlier and had told me some of what to expect.
Our jury got a murder case against a 17-year-old boy for killing another 17-year-old boy. I was surprised to find we were not allowed to take notes since my husband’s judge had encouraged note-taking.
My husband and I took our jury duty seriously and never discussed our cases with each other until the trials were over. It was interesting how different our judges were.
We found the defendant Not Guilty because we felt there was just not enough evidence to convict. After the trial ended, the judge came in to tell us our verdict was wrong. I was stunned. One woman burst into tears. We all told the judge the state hadn’t proven its case…we had to rule that way. The judge was not amused. I hope I don’t get her if I get on a jury this time.
I hope I am picked for a federal case this time, but if not I will be happy to be picked as a juror for any trial.
I think the worst thing about jury duty is waiting to see if you will be assigned a trial. The waiting won’t be bad this time since I can catch up on some audio books on my smart phone app. Technology changes so fast. There weren’t smart phones when I waited last time.
All in all, for me, jury duty is an honor. If I were on trial for anything, whether I had done it or not, I would want a juror like me sitting in the jury box. I know that sounds vain. I just mean I would like to have someone on my jury who is glad to be there.
Here’s to the US justice system, imperfect as it is.