Jury Duty

by jpserrano on August 15, 2012 · 4 comments

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I was called into the courtroom and waited as potential jurors were called to the jury box and they either remained or were dismissed.
  4. 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.

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your occupation?  This lead to more questions.
  3. Have you had a family member who is the victim of domestic abuse (that was the charge in the case)?
  4. 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?

-jpserrano

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Yemi Ogunbase August 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I would hope that you’re pro Truth, more than pro-Police. I’ve found that the two aren’t always on the same page.

As far as jury duty, I’ve never wanted to serve on a jury. There are some things that I will refuse to vote guilty for…simply because I believe the law shouldn’t be on the books.

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jpserrano August 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Indeed, I am pro truth. But being near Berkeley and Oakland where public sentiment toward the police is almost always negative, I wanted to be clear that I am pro-police, while most of the people around me are anti-police. Pro-police means I give police the benefit of the doubt. Do they mess up-sure. But they have a very difficult job where their lives are in danger and I therefore choose to think good of them first rather than bad. But, if they do bad and it is proven-they deserve to be convicted as well.

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Tuhina August 16, 2012 at 7:17 am

I reported for jury duty in downtown LA when I lived in Glendale. I was called to a panel for a death penalty case involving a murder/ robbery. Unfortunately, the case weighed heavily on me since I don’t believe I am in a position to decide if someone is to live or die, and I about threw up in the court room. Needless to say, the judge sent me home.

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jpserrano August 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

I am not sure that I could be a part of a death penalty case. I think, like you, the pressure would be to much to get it right. There would have to be evidence like there is on CSI for me to ever convict in that type of case-which only happens in high profile cases.

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