Today I had Jury Duty and I was actually kind of excited. I am in-between a youth ministry job and my internship for ordination so it is the first time that I’ve been able to actually serve on a jury. Some people only get out of Jury duty so I’m going to briefly outline the process.
- I received a summons in the mail with a date and instructions-call the day before and get the time I need to be at the court.
- The next day I showed up at the courts at 8:30am. I gave them my summons and they gave me a badge to wear.
- I was called into the courtroom and waited as potential jurors were called to the jury box and they either remained or were dismissed.
- I was the last person of 40 to be called into the Jury box after lunch.
In the jury box I was asked a series of questions.
- What is your name?
- What is your occupation? This lead to more questions.
- Have you had a family member who is the victim of domestic abuse (that was the charge in the case)?
- Have you had a family member convicted of a crime?
After this last question, I was asked by both the prosecution and defense (in different ways) how I felt about the police and the justice system. I responded that I am pro-police and think their are some flaws in our justice system but that it is the best system I know about.
When it came time for the defense to get her “free pass” in excusing potential jurors she chose me. It was kind of a let-down as I found her to be way more competent then the Deputy District Attorney.
I think there were several things working against me. I work for a church, I am pro-police, and I have been around domestic violence in my work and family.
At first, I really wanted to get on the jury and thought that it would be interesting to be a part of the system. However, walking out of the court I realized that I was relieved that I would not be asked to decide if the prosecution made her case that the crime actually occurred. The weight of my responsibility fell on me when I was in the jury booth and I felt it only after walking out of the court doors. I was relieved to get out of it.
What has been your experience with Jury duty?