Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jury Shmury

So, I have jury duty today. I’m still a bit dizzy today and had to get up at 5:30 this morning so I could brave Phoenix freeways to get here before 8:30. Then they opened the doors late and I really had to pee. So far, the upside to this place, as opposed to the downtown courthouse I had to got to last time, is that parking is nearby and I don’t have to walk six blocks in the summer heat.

Metal detectors. Fun. Just like the airport, only no great destination waiting at the end. And no drinks or food allowed inside the building so my snack and water bottle are in the car. I’m thirsty. Right now, I’m sitting in a small stuffy room with one table in the middle and chairs lining the walls. They do offer water and coffee here but we’re not allowed to take it out of the room. I’m sitting in a corner chair because they have no computer work spaces or wifi in this backward place, either. So, unfortunately, I can’t blog in real time. You’re reading this hours after the fact but I’m writing as much in real time as I can and not get arrested for contempt of court.

Okay, guy with a badge just entered. They need seven jurors. The rest of us will probably go home before noon. Please let that be me. Oh, joy. A video. Okay, he just turned down the lights. Not good for those of us with Meniere’s Disease. But at least he’s leaving so I can keep typing. Can you say death by boredom? I feel like I’m in government 101. Again. I wonder how much they paid these people in the video to say good things about jury duty. No one in this room looks excited to be here. Or maybe it’s just the lighting. Ooh, maybe I should apply as an actress for jury movies. Put all that Hollywood training to work again. Blah, blah, more video talk. I’ve heard all this before. And I could find this info on the net, if they just had wifi. That’s right, they don’t. Do I sound cranky? Well, I’m balancing my computer on my purse because there are no work stations. Hey, video’s over. Oops, guy with a badge coming back in the room. More later.

Okay, well, they got us lined up with numbers and marched us into a courtroom. It’s just before 10. This is a dui case. They don’t usually want people like me on dui cases, not when my teenage nephew was killed by an impaired driver. Questions about work, kids, spouse. The usual. Followed by a series of questions the judge asks and we simply raise our juror number if we qualify. Ooh, I raised my card at least four times. Next, we go back out into the waiting area for another round of sit and wait. Oh, goody. Crap, it’s only 10:30 and I’m hungry. I was queasy this morning so all I had for breakfast was toast. Where’s my snack? Oh, that’s right - I’m not allowed to have any food. Did I bring anything for this headache? Nope. Okay, now the bailiff is calling us in one at a time for more questions, so I don’t have to wait long before I’m back in the courtroom.

This time the judge wants explanations to the questions I raised my juror number for so I tell him what he wants to know. Hmm, the prosecutor and arresting officer look pleased with my answers. Can’t say the same for the defendant and his attorney, though. One final question from the defense. Ah, I’m fairly certain he won’t pick me now. More thank yous and please take a seat outside. Yeah, yeah, I got that part down.

Okay, now I’m back in a chair outside for more waiting. It’s after 11 and I’m really hungry now. I wonder if I have time to go to my car for a snack. Better not risk it. I’ve been trying to work on my editing on these breaks, except I keep reading the same paragraph over and over because of the disruptions. Just too many people talking and moving around. Bailiff calling out names. The guy next to me is coughing. Great, hope he’s not contagious. No time to dwell on that now - Being called in again.

Yea! I’ve been dismissed! It’s 11:30 and I’m starving! Can I go now? No. Have to wait for slip of paper. Of course, I’m one of the last people to get mine. Figures. But, hey, I’ve got a nice little box of snacks and a bottle of water in the car. I’m outa here!


Amber Polo said...

Seems like the Camp Verde Courthouse calls me and dismisses me on a regular basis. But I didn't get a summons for the James Arthur Ray sweatlodge trial. Would being on a national case (and Court TV) been worth a month of my life? Would they have have let me on the jury? Probably not.

Dana's Blah Blah Blog said...

If you do get on TV, Amber, wear a shirt that advertises your books. LOL!

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