Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Civic Duty

This week I have been on call for jury duty.  Each evening I have called in and a recording has told me that I do not need to report.  Except for Wednesday evening I called and the machine told me I actually had to physically go down to the court house and report for duty.  I had thought I was going to get off all week.  But, I figured that today, 9/11, of all days was a great day for me to be proud to be an american.  

I have never been on a jury before.  I was called one time when I lived in Chico and was able to get off because we already had a trip to Jamaica planned.  Today was a different story though.  The meeting room was big and they told us to come prepared with books, or music, or whatever would keep us entertained because it would be a long day of waiting.  They were right, of course.  I spent the first 3 hours waiting, finally getting sent over to a court only to be told then that the case had just settled and did not need a jury.  So I went back to do some more waiting.  The man in charge told us that we could go to lunch early and come back at 1:30 to report to another trial at 2.  He made it sound like we may be dismissed when we got back, so my hopes were high.  No such luck.  I went with the rest of the group and was the 4th person to be called for the jury.  Each juror had to state their name and info about themselves.  My heart started beating faster just thinking about talking out loud in front of everyone.  I made it through though.  After more of this and that I kept waiting for them to tell me to go home, but they didn't.  I am now an official jury member and will be reporting in the morning.  It's actually kind of exciting and interesting.  Luckily it's only going to be a 2 or 3 day trial!



I love being called for jury duty. It always make me feel that I have a part in the judicial process that makes this country great. And how great to be called on this day of rememberance of those lost 7 years ago. I have been called for jury duty 3 times but have actually only gone to the court house once. I was seated on a jury and it was really fascinating. It was a medical lawsuit and I learned, rather quickly on medical procedures I had not been aware of before. On listening to opening arguments I really had a feeling (not good to not keep an open mind) on how I might think things would go. But after listening to both sides I actually ruled on the side that I didn't think I would on opening arguments. Lesson learned.........never pre-judge.

On a side note I remember the first time that Dennis was on a jury. He came home and I was asking him all kinds of questions regarding the case. He said I have been sworn in and cannot talk about the case to anyone until it is over. I said but I am your wife, can't you give me a hint. And he said no I took an oath. I may not have quite understood completely at the time but when I was sworn in I totally understood.
Will look forward to hearing what your case was "after" it is over.

Love you all, Susan

Grandma Dee said...

I'm with Susan. Serving on jury duty and voting are two significant ways that we can participate in our government. I have been on 3 juries, one a 3 week trial where I ended up meeting the plaintiff attorney afterwards and stayed good friends for years after; and the other, a molestation case where we found him guilty. I don't remember the third issue.

I seem to get called each year and over the last 5 or so calls, I have been dismissed. Three years ago I met Gil Garcetti, the former DA on the OJ trial. He was called up and could easily have gotten out of it. He chose to serve like any other citizen. That was so inspiring. I had a great time visiting with him and seeing his photographs which later ended up being exhibited at the Smithsonian.

I have always met interesting people at jury duty. I guess it is one place where you spend an awfully lot of time holed up with people you don't know.

Congratulations and thanks on serving. I hope you have fun and learn some new things.

Grandma Dee