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This week is my week of civic duty. I was summoned to court to spend the week on call for jury duty. Jury duty is different all over the place and for different types of juries.
Mine started Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. with 95 other people in the county courthouse. I looked around, and let me tell you I was astounded that the only people there were caucasian, no blacks, no asians, no minority whatsoever. I would also say it looked like 2/3rds men. And, all I can say is, bring a book, a laptop and a sense of humor. You may also need a pillow for your sore butt. I am serious about that. Courthouses have metal detectors etc. so make sure to empty all the crap out of your purse, and items you really don't need people knowing about. Wear sensible clothes and no metal, or you get the wand treatment. They will lecture you about the history of jury duty and how you are doing the world a major favor. Then they will let you sit and rot until they figure out which cases need a jury. You will be sorted into groups of 12 and given a number. We were split into 8 groups. Group 8 only had 6 people because the other 6 failed to show up for their civic duty. Do you know what happens to you when you don't show up???? A warrant is put out for your arrest and you can spend 10 days in jail. This is a fact. I won't get into details, but I do know someone that has served the time. So, make sure you show up. On the first day groups 1,2 and 3 went up for interrogation for the first court case. The rest of us sat there until 4:15 p.m. doing absolutely nothing. I had lunch with my friend that works in the courthouse. I had brought 2 books. I read about 30 pages of the first one and decided it wasn't worth reading. I started the second one and realized that I had already read it. Luckily I brought a sudoku book, and worked out a few of the puzzles. I would have brought my 2 month old laptop but my hard drive had died the previous Thursday and I was waiting for a replacement. That is a whole other blog post. Some guy sat up front with his feet up on a table. He fell asleep and was snoring so loud that one of the clerks came in and woke him up. We are talking ultimate boredom. It is nice and airconditioned though. So for all you thin girls not experiencing menopause, bring a sweater. At the end of the day they come in to dismiss you and tell you to call the jury hotline after 6 p.m. It gives instructions for the next day. My group was told to show up at 9 a.m. at the courthouse. By 9:30 a.m. we were lined up and brought up to a courtroom. In the court were courtworkers, state prosecuters, the judge, 2 defense attorneys and the accused. I looked at him and decided he had either stolen money from a business or corporation or that he was a child molester. He was too clean cut for anything else. Sadly, it turned out that he was accused of child molestation, and we all groaned. No one wants to sit in on that case. We were split into 2 groups of 18 and then the first group sat in the jury box and was interrogated for 2.5 hours. Meanwhile we sat on the hardest most unforgiving wooden benches ever known to man. I am not a thin woman, and I had to sit on my hands because my butt was so sore. When I say interrogated, I really mean it. You will have to answer all sorts of personal questions about you, your family, and your friends. Meanwhile about 45 people are listening, including the accused. When it was my turn up in the interrogation box, I mean jury box, I made sure to let the defense attorney and his client know that I did not like them or the case. Because I truly did not like the defense attorney. He did not look us in the eye when he spoke to us and he asked questions that had absolutely nothing to do with the case. I felt he was trying to play head games, and I just don't go down that road. When they picked the jury for the case they did not pick nurses, lawyers, people with a colorful past, or me. In fact, the accused laughed when they called on me to tell me whether I was accepted or excused. It was a great relief to all of us that were excused. We left and went home to our families happy as can be to not have to listen to that case. So, Tuesday night I called the jury hotline and they told me I did not have to come in on Wednesday. I called Wednesday night and they told me I did not have to come in on Thursday, today. I will have to call tonight, about tomorrow. I doubt they will need me on Friday. So, if you don't want to sit on the jury for a case, make sure to have an attitude. A nurse with an attitude would be even better. If half the people in your family have been to court and or jail, you won't be sitting on the jury either.