Wednesday, March 26, 2014
For the fifth time in my life, I was summoned to jury duty. Contrary to many that are called, I'm one of those anxious to serve. Looking back, I should have gone to law school or become a detective. When I was younger I loved Perry Mason, Dragnet, L.A. Law, Quincy, M.D., and these days I'm tuned in to Law & Order - SVU, NCIS, Cold Case and Criminal Minds. My favorite authors in the crime genre are James Patterson (Alex Cross series), Ann Rule and Vincent Bugliosi (True Crime) as well as a variety of criminal profilers. My husband jokes to his friends that he doesn't know what I have up my sleeve ... but he feels the need to sleep with one eye open! Hmmmm.
Before I continue, I want to make it clear ...I'm not making light of crime, victims are left in the wake. I'm a firm believer in our judicial system ... I've just always wanted to experience the process through a juror's perspective - beginning to end.
The jury lounge was filled with around 200 people. I proudly pinned on my jury badge, feeling confident this was going to be THE day. The clerk came to the podium with a list of 50 names, randomly selected by computer. She called the names out alphabetically. I patiently waited for her to reach the "S" group...but no dice. The second list... 50 more names (odds are improving)... No dice. The third? "Patricia Smith". Woo Hoo! I'm almost there! I envisioned myself sitting in the jury box - intently listening to opening remarks, objections, witness testimony...taking meticulous notes for deliberations.
In the courtroom the judge informed us the trial would last around nine days. Wow! I was filled with hopeful anticipation. Again, the names called for interviews were randomly selected by computer (the odds are good....only 50 people to select from). The first group was called to the jury box - no dice. Based on the questions posed by the judge and attorneys it appeared this was going to be a complicated case. Double Wow! The process of elimination began...once a person was excused another randomly selected name was called. This continued all afternoon and into the next day (the odds were improving!). I kept staring at the computer, trying to will it to cough up my name. To make a long story short, I'd better not go to Las Vegas anytime soon....or waste my money on a lotto ticket.
Maybe next year.......