I realize that I am probably one of the few people who actually was looking forward to be summoned for jury duty… and enjoyed the experience when it happened.
I was originally summoned last May/June , but I had to defer it for one reason or another [schedule conflict]. Anyways, they were nice enough to give me a list with several different weeks as choices that were for many months later.
Ample time to plan around it, wouldn’t you think? Of course, several things creeped up last minute this week… but it did end up working out okay, considering I only had to physically go in on Monday so far this week.
Monday morning, I had to get to the courthouse at 8:30 AM. Let me tell you there is nothing worse than having to wake up early. This might sound silly considering I’m an early riser (usually up for the day around 6-7 AM at the latest for the most part). But it’s just something different when you know you have to do something, you know what I mean? Plus, just because I wake up early regularly that doesn’t mean I like to function that early. In fact, I usually don’t get out of bed right away. It must be a psychological thing, I suppose.
It was an internal battle of wanting to be on a jury panel vs. not wanting to because of the things I mentioned above that creeped up. I’d say I got a compromised version of the experience. I didn’t have to sit in the jury assembly room all day just waiting [as is the experience of many people I’m told]. Instead, after sitting through the orientation portion of it and a quick 20 minute [useless] break, pretty early in the day, near 10 AM, our whole jury group was summoned into the courtroom for the selection of a jury panel for a civil case (instead of just a select group of people).
We were given a little background info on the case on hand by the judge, introduced to the lawyers and parties involved, and then the jury selection began. It was a civil case, so there needed to be 8 members selected. The process to get those 8 members took a little over 2 hours!
The process seems long and tedious, but it says so much about the bigger picture. It’s amazing how far our court of law goes to make sure the jury is unbiased, diverse, and so much more.
At the end of the day, it was so nice to see the system working and be involved in the process. We are truly blessed to live in a society, in this instance, where we are judged by a diverse group of our peers. We take so much for granted on a daily basis and it was nice to reflect on that during the time frame.
I’m on call for the rest of the week, but at this point, I doubt I’ll be called in again.