Unlike most people, when I receive a Jury Duty summons in the mail, I’m excited. I know, I’m weird, but I really enjoy Jury Duty. Having an opportunity to be part of the judicial process is something every American has the right to, and being on the judging part rather than needing judgment is always preferable.
The last time I had Jury Duty, I was actually selected and got to serve. I found the experience wholly interesting and was satisfied that we gave the finding we did, letting a young man who wasn’t guilty of the nonsense they were trying to pull on him walk free with his family that day.
This time, though, things were slightly different. I arrived to find a line of people waiting to get in, as I was a little early. Not wanting to stand around, I took a quick walk around the block to get some fresh air. When I arrived back at the courthouse, the doors were open and we all proceeded through.
I spotted all sorts of folks outside, which made me oddly proud of our melting pot America, how we are all different, but also the same. Making our way through security, it was no less stressful than going through the process at the airport. Things were beefed up a bit more than the first time I’d gone, but that probably had something to do with the fatal shooting that took place there a few years back.
So, after getting through the check in process, I took my seat in the room with everyone else, and began to read quietly. Soon they called my name and we filed into the elevators to the courtrooms upstairs. We received some instructions and were given the opportunity to disclose anything to the judge or attorneys that would preclude us from Jury Service.
Unlike the previous time, they called me but then I was immediately dismissed by the defense attorney. I assume it was because of the type of case (another second degree assault charge, ironically enough), and that middle-aged white ladies are less likely to side with a guy who punched someone in “self-defense.”
They were probably right to dismiss me, I guess. I don’t know what I would have decided, given the evidence. But I probably wouldn’t have bought it, and may have found the guy guilty. But, not being picked wasn’t so bad, I got to leave early. When I did though, the most interesting part of the day was getting lost in the parking garage with the hundreds of other people trying to figure out what floor they parked their cars on, each of us wandering through the levels, hitting our keyfobs and listening intently for our cars. It took much longer than it needed to, but that’s the case when you’re trying not to be somewhere, I suppose.