Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Am Not Demi Moore

I got dinged for Jury Duty for the second time in my tenure here in the Big Apple. The last time there was no question, I was just supposed to show up and to clear my week. This time, possibly since I only postponed once, I got the kind where you call in the night before to find out if they want you to come in. I think you're also supposed to clear your week. Last time I spent one day waiting around in a less than comfy room, was sent away for a 90 minute lunch and was dismissed about 3:30. I called in and they want me to report in person tomorrow. They want everyone who's called for Monday to come in. Paradoxically the message makes a point to invite you to bring your laptop since the court house has wireless internet then immediately tells you to limit the personal belongings you bring to make the security check easier.

I'm a middle ground person about this whole Jury duty thing (as I am with almost everything else). I'm sort of looking forward to having one day to break my routine. I can leave the house about the usual time, walk to the court house and get there on time. Whether they keep me for more than one day or not I'll probably get out earlier and I'll definitely be closer to home than if I were at the office. I've even begun to see the advantages of having 2 days of waiting around, getting laptop stuff done and getting home early. I don't want to be picked for a jury, though. I'm not willing to completely disregard the whole civic duty portion of the question and wear my America Is Scary t-shirt, not shower and bring The Communist Manifesto for my reading material. I might wish I was, though. I will certainly not be covering up the waning hole in my head.

I'll be bringing my laptop and a couple of good books and something to write with and on and my iPod and my phone and maybe my new camera, too. (New camera, yes, new camera yippee!!!!) I'll make good use of the time and enjoy the break from routine and hope for an early release of one sort or another.

Any Jury Duty experience out there?


  1. No jury experience here. However, I was a victim (burglary) and had to go be a witness in a trial. I luffed my jury. They were sweet and convicted the guy in less than 90 seconds.

  2. Anonymous6:00 PM

    My jury experiences:

    1.) Manhattan - Turns out that the Dad of one of my students at the time runs Manhattan County Jury. I don't know (I didn't ask) if that had anything to do with how things turned out, but without asking to get out of jury duty, the Dad took me and 49 other people and said, "Too many people showed up on Monday. You have all been validated for two years. Please leave the building quickly, and don't talk to anyone. Go. NOW. Don't ask questions."

    2.) Brooklyn - after sitting around in the same room you will visit for a few hours, I got called into a really interesting traffic wreck lawsuit. And was promptly shown the door when it turned out I was the only college-educated prospective juror. Also, I was the only juror who had not caused a traffic accident. Which scared me to death. No judge, no court reporter were present; no individual interviews. The counselors for the case picked us up and took us back. Just ten people, who were asked group questions that made no sense. The lawyers kept asking us weird hypothetical questions, like "could you be fair if the case was about elephants?" and "if we all flew to Tahiti, where I want to go on vacation, would you trust the pilot?" while the other guy talked like Marlon Brando in Godfather, so we all kept asking him to repeat himself. Ah, thanks, I have no idea what you're talking about, and I have no idea what it has to do with a traffic accident. But thanks for letting me know what kind of lawyer not to hire if I ever need one. I was released that same day.

  3. I've done Jury Duty, and I found it cool and interesting. Enjoy the break from the routine. Have fun shaking it up.

  4. Anonymous11:56 PM

    I've never had to go to jury duty for more than 2 days. Each time I go, they've made it more juror friendly in some way - except for sometimes they put you in small rooms with TVs on with stupid programs that you can't turn off. UGH! I've never been picked for a trial.

    My mom was on a trial, but she was an alternate, so she never found out how the case was decided, as she was dismissed when the jury went to deliberate.

    My dad was the foreperson of a jury trying a man for raping his 6 year old (I think) relative. He was found guilty. My dad (or someone else) asked the judge what the sentence would probably be, and was told it would probably be time served!!!!! Ugh!!! What was the point of that!!!!

    Hope the experience is as painless as possible.

    Enjoy your camera!!!! I just spent 45 minutes taking pictures of the flowers on a witch hazel shrub in Prospect Park. You may marvel at my shrub-naming abilities, but don't. As I was taking the pics 3 professional, but hip, looking gentleman walked by and were talking about the shrub (which was really the size of a small tree) and so I asked them if they knew what kind it was and they told me, and then debated amongst themselves about the scientific name for it! Anyway, enjoy!!!

  5. Never but I long too.
    Civic duty minded that I am.
    I probably would be disappointed as I am expecting all the courtroom theatrics I see on Boston Legal complete with James in a snappy, sexy suit.
    I like the idea of the power though. Someones fate in your hands...
    probably best I never get called due to my large complex....
    lower g god.
    12 Angry Men might be a nice lap top movie to watch. Mr. Fonda.

  6. I got picked for a murder case about 12 years ago, in Nevada. It was an enlightening experience going through the process of voir dire, then actually making the cut, hearing the evidence and getting to sit in the room while 12 people who did not know each other tried to objectively determine the fate of a man (we found him guilty). I was glad I got picked, and I'm not afraid to serve. I consider myself to be very objective, yet open-minded; serving on a jury is a good way for me to be part of American civic life.

    As it happens, I'm due to go in on April 15. The last time I was there, I got as far as voir dire, but the jury was chosen before they got to my number.