Friday, April 14, 2006

Jury Duty, Day 1: The Final Cut

Yep, I made it. The final cut. After spending an agonizing 6 hours being shuffled back and forth from the Central Jury Room to the Judge's courtroom and being questioned by 3 different attorneys for 2 1/2 of those 6 hours, I was selected to serve on the 8-person jury for a civil trial beginning Monday morning.

I don't know how I'll manage to sit through 5 days of testimony in that stuffy courtroom. It reeks of stale aftershave and cologne, with not a hint of fresh air from anywhere. Looking around the boring space, I didn't spot any air vents of any kind whatsoever. Hardly the regal, opulent type of courtroom you might see on Law & Order. But what did I expect? At least some fabric or maybe leather-covered chairs in the juror's box. Instead, I sat on a puke-linoleum-green vinyl chair for 4 hours, to which the backs of my sweaty thighs stuck the entire time. (It must have been 80 degrees in there.) At least the chair swiveled.

The entire time I was being questioned, I was thinking to myself, what can I do to get out of this? I have mixed feelings about jury duty. I've never served on a jury before and, after all those episodes of Law & Order, I think I would be good at it. I have an open mind. I'm fair and impartial. I don't think I am too quick to judge anybody, especially not by my own personal standards. So, when being questioned by the various attorneys, I answered everything as openly and honestly as I could in a room full of 58 strangers. Sometimes it got a little personal, but I got through it.

I'm now Juror #1.

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