Jury Duty. Just the mention of it makes some people cringe. I have had the fortune (or misfortune) to get called for jury duty at the Federal Courthouse in Philadelphia three times in the last six years. The first time, I was called in for the first day and dismissed. The second time, my number was too high and I didn’t have to go in, just call every day for three days.
This time, I had to go in, even though my number was 184. There were at least 200 people in the Jury Room. They took 30, then 30 more, then 65. I was in the pool of 65 potential jurors. We were called in, sworn in, and the case was reviewed. Since it hasn’t gone to trial yet, I will not give the specifics of the case. It was basically the US District Attorney vs. a citizen charged with a crime.
During the Voir Dire process, we were asked at least 25 or 30 specific questions. Potential jurors had to answer in the affirmative if any of these questions, one at a time, affected their ability to serve on a jury. Examples were: Have you ever been the victim of a crime, or Do you or any member of your family work for the Federal government.
In the end, I was excused again. The jurors were chosen, 12 and two alternates, and told the trial would probably last a week. On the one hand, I have always wanted to serve on a jury just for the experience. I always thought that if for some reason I was ever accused of a serious crime, I would want some reasonably intelligent people serving on my jury. On the other hand, I have school work, lots of project work on the day job, and a family. I am too busy to serve on a jury.
Q: Have you ever been on a jury? What was the experience like? Did you feel you were doing a public surface* by being a juror?
*Obscure reference to a Stephen King story. First one to name the reference gets a cyber-ride on the Harley. (Gals only, of course. Riding B**ch is definitely NOT on)