Snapshots of a… Crazy Kinda Life

The Misadventures of Messie Jessie

Voir Dire, my dear March 17, 2009

Filed under: All about me — Messie Jessie @ 10:36 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

juror-badgeThat’s right, guess who got picked for Jury Duty…. AGAIN. I don’t know why, but I get picked to serve on a jury every single time I report for venire (composing of the jury pool). I don’t do anything intentionally to get picked during voir dire (potential juror examination), but yet each time I hear those words that no one wants to hear, “you have been selected…” This time, after I was interviewed and escorted to a holding area, I heard the news from beyond the courtroom doors: “Panelist number 21 makes Juror number 4”.

If I were a baseball player, I’d have a perfect batting average.

While the law prohibits me from discussing the details of the case, what I CAN tell you is that I have gotten a great start on knitting some Christmas gifts for next year, as serving on a jury entails a lot of sitting around in the jury room and waiting for the court to get ready. Side note: My fellow jurors and I did the math, and figured out that when you are told something will start in a certain number of minutes, you can multiply that by 3, and that is roughly how long it will actually take to start. End side bar.

I can also tell you that I spent a lot of my day listening to lawyers asking the same questions over and over again. There were several witnesses, who had to lay out different versions of the same story, while the lawyers all tried to get them to say exactly what they want them to say.

I can also share that I took myself out to lunch at Reading Terminal Market, and had a delicious salad. I sat next to two complete strangers, and ended up getting into a half hour conversation with one of them. She was a wonderful woman, and I hope to run into her again at some point in our lifetimes. 

I can also make note that I have now gotten to know several of the 12 complete strangers I sit on the jury with quite well. I always find it interesting to be confined in a room with an intentionally diverse group of folks, and see what comes of it all. We do have a good time, and we generally spend most of our non-courtroom time laughing with one another. One elderly gentleman, after learning what I do for a living, pulled me to the side privately and asked me for my thoughts on why his mother ended up in a mental institution after a relatively normal life. I found it touching that he trusted me -a total stranger- enough to divulge such personal details about his family and their lives.

Lastly, I can tell you all that I have to return to service again tomorrow. The judge laid out his proposed schedule for the day, and stated that he hoped we could go into deliberations around lunchtime. Of course, he followed it up by noting that nothing goes as planned, so it was only his hope that it would play out that way.

While I don’t mind jury duty as much as others, I’m hoping so too, Judgie.


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