February 11, 2008

Posted in Jury Duty at 1:11 am by smilinshell11

Yesterday my check for jury duty came. $44.24 ($10 a day plus milage). Thanks King County!

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January 30, 2008

Jury Duty

Posted in Court, Jury Duty at 9:13 pm by smilinshell11

A couple of weeks ago I got a notice in the mail saying I had been summoned for jury duty. I have only been summoned one other time and I was in college and was able to get out of it because it was the week of finals. This time I had no reason not to go and thought it would be interesting.

It started Monday morning having to be there . Maybe I should mention that it has snowed Sunday night and I live on a hill. Not a great combo considering I HATE driving in the snow/ice. I made it there safely and got parked. After sitting around all morning, I was called to a jury panel right before lunch. It was me and 69other people, with me being lucky juror #16. We were brought into the court room where the judge tells us what the guy has been charged with and how long the trial is expected to go. She then asks if anyone has a hardship that would prevent them from being on the case (such as a scheduled surgery, primary income, travel plans). From this about 20 people are excused with cause. Then she reads off the list of people testifying to see if anyone knows someone from that list.

Here is where it gets interesting. When I walked in, I was seated in the first row behind the defendant and his lawyer. Before I even knew anything about the charges the guy just kind of gave me the creeps. The charges are read and kind of like I thought: One account of 1st degree child rape and three accounts of 1st degree child molestation with the trial lasting 2-1/2 to 3 weeks. Now I don’t have any children and I was one of the younger people there, so my first thought was they know I don’t have any children so I would probably be more impartial than someone with. After all of that the prosecuting attorney gets up and starts asking the jurors questions (this goes back/forth between the two lawyers) for 2 hours (1/2 hour each). Thankfully 1/2 of it was on Monday and the other half was Tuesday morning.

They ask some questions that were like huh? Like what is the difference between evidence and facts? How do you know the difference? How would you feel being called to the witness stand? How does a person like that react? Does that mean they are lying if they don’t make eye contact or seem nervous? You get the point…
I took the stance as not to say anything unless asked so they wouldn’t know much about me or where I stood so maybe I could get off. 🙂

After the two hours, the judge said it was time to pick a jury. Being juror #16 I knew I would get called to the box right away. Then the lawyers went back and forth saying, “Thank you Juror #(whatever)”. Then the judge says, “Juror #(whatever) you are now excused”. So they go back and forth 5 times before the defendant’s attorney says my lucky #16. I tried really hard not to smile and skip out of there happy I didn’t get put on that jury. They don’t get into the details of it but I really didn’t want to hear testimony and pictures or whatever at this point in my life about that subject.

Overall, it was a really interesting experience. I got paid a whopping $10 a day plus mileage. The best part also was I got 1-1/2 for lunch, two 15 minute breaks, and was done by 4 the first day, and 2:30 the second day. Plus if you get on a jury, no court on Friday. If it paid more, I would consider going full time. 🙂