I was called to Jury Duty. From teaching 8th grade Civics, I know this is a responsibility of every American citizen. I’m not sure others understand that.
Granted, it is inconvenient. It’s uncertain. You don’t know if you will actually have to serve. Your life goes on “hold.” I had to miss my yoga and ceramics classes, both of which I love! But some of the moaning, arguing, and complaining I heard from grown adults was just plain annoying.
There were 199 people who received a summons, and about 149 that actually showed up on the date expected. Of those, about fifty were released, and then about fifty more were called. I should have bought a lottery ticket that day. Not only was I one of the “lucky” fifty, but I ended up sitting on the jury and being Foreman. I guess my stern teacher-look has stayed with me. The former teacher part came out in a lobby conversation. The fellow juror said I would be able to keep everyone on task. Another piped in that I was dressed the nicest. Seriously? I wore a T-shirt dress and a cardy.
We heard a drug case. The defendant testified, and immediately admitted he had indeed traded two rocks of crack cocaine to an undercover cop for five cartons of cigarettes, though his plea was “Not Guilty.”
We, the jury, had to return a unanimous verdict. We disagreed with the defendant. It took us twenty minutes, and we stretched that out just in conversation about dumb crooks and how his attorney must have inwardly rolled his eyes during his client’s testimony.
It wasn’t CSI or even close to Matlock or Perry Mason, but it is part of our American system, and I was glad I had the experience. Not only was it interesting, but I earned a whopping $32.00 before taxes with free parking. AND they can’t call me for Jury Duty again for two years.