239/365 - Jury Duty, Day 1

I have been summoned to serve my civic duty - a week of potential jury duty. There's never a guarantee that I will actually serve on jury - it's all potential, a function of the cases being tried, the nature of the trials and the number of people in the jury pool. I guess the more precise description is I have been summoned to serve time in the Jury Pool.

All of the action occurs at the county courthouse:
This is a place where cell phones are banned and the Jury pool sits in a waiting room for many hours, waiting for a potential trial to need jurors.

I arrived at 9:30 and read every page, every inch of the current People Magazine (courtesy of Jill - what a lifesaver!). Around 10:00, we go through an orientation - where to park, what to wear, what to expect in the court room, what our juror number is (I'm number 21). At 10:30, a list of potential jurors is called out - these folks need to come back at 1:30. My number is on the list.

I come back and the smaller group is led upstairs to the court rooms. Jury selection starts - 12 random numbers are called and the perspective jurors are seated in the jury box. Each person is asked several questions (name, occupation, do you know any lawyers, policemen, have you been victim of a crime, etc) by the judge and the two lawyers. Either lawyer may dismiss a potential juror, and when this happens, another number is called to fill that spot and the process starts all over again.

My number was never called. I sat in the courtroom, and listened for the 2 hours it took to select the 12 jurors and 2 alternates. While interesting at first, the process does get a little bit repetitive and boring.

I get to go back tomorrow morning for more waiting. I need to make sure I bring more reading material.

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