You’ve Been Summoned For Jury Duty
Usually most people dread jury duty but I, unlike most people, had not popped my juror cherry yet. Things were getting busy at work and my boss pretty much hates me. (If looks could kill I would have been dead two months ago.) So it appears that jury duty could not have come at a better time.
In order to prepare for my professional expertise as a juror I decided I’d freshen up on the law and whatnot. So what did I do? I broke night playing “Grand Theft Auto 4 on my PS3. There’s nothing killing a few cops, blowing up a couple of cars and earning a six star wanted level that’ll teach you right from wrong. Running on about five hours sleep I felt ready for any case that was thrown at me, “throw the book at him,” I yelled as I awoke the next morning.
As I arrived, everyone was told to walk through the metal detector and have their bags and personal items put through a scanner. Of course I was the only one to get scanned after walking through the metal detector twice. After one of the toy cops practically performed a cavity search on me, I was instructed to walk into a room with others that were also summoned to jury duty. There, our court office clerk, Roselyn instructed us on the jury duty procedures.
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She proceeded to play an instructional video with an intro that involved something about what appeared to be Vikings sinking or swimming. I wasn’t paying much attention because I was on a line on the right-hand side of the room. Roselyn was answering any questions we had one-on-one. I was wondering if she had a boyfriend. She was wondering if I was on any medication.
After the instructional video from hell, we were ordered to fill out our information regarding work on our summons. If you’re a student, unemployed or a broke-ass, you’d get paid $40 a day for each day you’re doing jury duty. You’d receive a check in the mail within six weeks for your time. On the other hand if you are employed you get paid depending on your work situation. If there are more than 10 employees at your place of work you get paid from the beginning. If there aren’t then you begin getting paid after three days of being a juror. There’s also the issue of whether your employer pays you or not and it just starts getting a bit complicated. This is where the excitement ended and where the boredom sank its teeth into me.
I filled out a questionnaire for the lawyers and judge and waited for Roselyn to call my name out if a case came up. Who would have known that picking a juror and playing bingo were so similar? I spent the next hour trying to conjure up ways on how to convince Roselyn that I’m not mentally ill. But the more I thought about it, the more I started to believe she was right.
Just before lunch time my name was finally called out. But just as quickly we were sent to lunch, for an hour… and 20 minutes. When I finally got back, the room was so quiet I felt like letting one rip just to break the ice between me and my fellow potential jurors.
The lawyers for both sides explained the basics of the civil case and made it clear that they were looking for two alternate jurors. If you thought lawyers spoke very cunningly on television, then you are surely in for a treat for the real deal. The lawyers interviewed each potential juror four at a time. Questions surrounding people’s backgrounds, life experiences and fairness were asked. Unfortunately the lawyers had picked their candidates before they got to me. I was dossing in and out of sleep so I highly doubt that I would have been the perfect choice for them.
I was released and given a paper saying that I don’t have to serve jury duty for another six years. I guess I got off easy as opposed to most people that fear this ordeal. My civil duty will not be needed for more than half a decade. I wonder if Roselyn will still be there.
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