Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Jury Duty - Day 1

Note to self: when the summons says be there at 8:00, get there at 8:15. I got down to the courthouse 5 or 10 minutes before 8 to find out that the doors are locked until 8. With everyone filing through the metal detector, I didn't get inside until 8:15 anyway.

I couldn't help noticing that if this was a random cross section of society, I am way better looking than average. Man were there some ugly people there. I think I was the only good looking person in the room.

I found out relatively early on (after sitting around filling out paperwork and watching a video for the first hour) that one of the three cases scheduled today was canceled, so 20 of the 60 jurors would get to go home for the day. They started calling out names of who had to stay, and I kept my fingers crossed that I would be one of the ones going home early. You guess it, of the 40 people who had to stay, my name was #39 called. Damn, so close.

After sitting around a little while longer waiting for "Judge Jackie" (I wasn't aware that judges who aren't on tv go by their first names, and it honestly seems pretty unprofessional), some dude who's name and job title I don't know came in and announced that one of the attourneys has the flu and has been vomiting and so another trial would be canceled for the day. That means 20 more people get to go home. Luckily I was in that group this time, so 10 am and I'm out the door. And at the sum of $10 a day (which they said hasn't changed since the 50's), I pulled down an hourly wage of $5. That's almost minimum wage right there. I plan on blowing my windfall on coffee.

Other items of interest: I wasn't the only Crawford there. That kind of surprised me. After a quick survey of how many times people have been summoned, it turns out that only 3 of the 60 people have had jury duty more times than I have, despite the fact that I was one of the youngest people there. This further calls into question the proclaimed randomness of jury selection. For the record, this is my 5th time. This was the 6th time for one guy, 7th for another, and one poor lady has now been summoned 15 times. That fact will only temporarily stifle my complaining though.

And though I had a short day, they made it very clear that I am not done. I still have to come in the rest of the week anyway, and may end up serving on more than one jury during the week. I'm still hoping to get Warren Moon's DUI trial. Currently I'm hoping that I can get dismissed early every time by calling for the death penalty for every offense. Shop lifting? Death penalty. Public urination? Death penalty. Paddling the school canoe? You better believe that's a paddling. Sorry, I got sucked into a Simpson's episode there for a moment.
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