Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Jury Duty

I'm probably the only person I know who received their summons to jury duty with "Really? Cool!"

I'm excited about serving on a jury. I hope I'm selected! I have never been called before and I do seriously believe that in a government that is (as Abraham Lincoln put it) "of the people, by the people, for the people" serving on juries is a duty not to be shirked. I have no expectation that I'll be involved in anything "exciting" in the television movie of the week sense. I'm ok with going and being bored, I'm even ok with going and not being selected.

I'll be compensated a whopping $10 a day and given a bus ticket good for transportation to the King County Regional Justice Center, if I'm selected for a jury. I report for duty on August 2nd. I only hope that nothing interferes with my ability to go to GenCon.

[UPDATE]: When putting the date into my day planner, I realized that it fell right in the middle of the one week of "summer vacation" that I get to spend with Kate. She goes to Canada on July 5th and aside from that week and one weekend, she doesn't come back until after Labor Day. Luckily for me, the Jury office was very accomodating and changed the date to the 16th instead. Now I don't have to miss my visit with Kate or worry that a trial will run into GenCon. Excellent!


for this post

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Interestingly, I get called to jury duty every year... and then find myself excused because I'm not a USAn citizen.

Mary, on the other hand, is a citizen, but hasn't been called up for 8 or 10 years.


Blogger Gary Says:

I was called to criminal trial once, and selected for the jury. We spent 4 days in court, and another 6 days in deliberation (ten days, all told). In the end, we found the defendant guilty on one count, but hung on the other count.

In retrospect, the experience was equal parts educational, frustrating, nerve-wracking, and heart-wrenching. While I believe everyone has the duty to serve on a jury, I don't think I'll be in any kind of hurry to serve again. I did my part, and for all I know, another human being is rotting in prison for it.

Did he deserve it? Probably; the evidence surely indicated that he did. It was easy enough to divorce myself from the human aspect when we deliberated, but when the defendant broke out in tears when the verdict was read, it woke me up to the realization that I wasn't an extra in an episode of Law & Order.

Blogger Nikchick Says:

Excellent point, Gary. Were I in front of a jury, I would hope that my peers would approach their duty with conscience as well as intelligence. I hope that I can offer the same.

Blogger Gary Says:

Oh, I believe my fellow jurors and I went in with clear heads. They were all very smart people, and we were under no illusions that what we were doing was right.

Still, the instructions you're given as a juror are very clear. Decisions must be based on the evidence, not on emotion. We couldn't consider the punishment of the crime (that wasn't our job), only the evidence and whether it proved the defendant innocent or guilty.

The cold logic of that process, as well as the isolation of the deliberation room (which was kept locked while we were inside), was instrumental in ensuring that our minds were focused on the job at hand.

If you'd ever like to discuss it in detail, let me know. I'm glad to share the experience, even though it wasn't a memory I particularly cherish.


Leave a Reply