Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jury Duty Part 2

Inside the court room they called 18 people up to sit in the jury chairs after we had a short introduction... My name wasn't called and I sat and watched as they were flat out interrogated the first group for about 45 mins...  yes, 45 mins. 15 mins to state some basic information to the judge, & 15 mins with each side, defendant and prosecutor.

It was a DUI case so they really wanted to feel out who would and wouldn't be able to give someone a fair trial... and it seems like every other person in that court room was either a Police officer's best friend (we were told police officers would be testifying during the case), had one or more DUI convictions or arrests themselves, or gave money to M.A.D.D.

Needless to say, 7 people were dismissed (you need 12 +2 alternates), so they called 7 more and repeated the process.... by 4:30pm they didn't have a full jury so we were all instructed to return the following day.


We showed up at 9am and the judge thanked us for returning... and we started where we were. They called 7 more people... and dismissed 5 of them....

So the judge decided to call just 2 more people because at this point, both sides were okay with the jury selection thus far (and they really only needed one person). then he decided to add a third...


I took my seat and for good measure, the judge decided to fill out the rest of the row... and then preceded to dismiss everyone else in the room.

We each stood up and stated our names, our occupations, and what our spouses did  (and if we had any kids over 18 and what they did for a living). After that we were asked to volunteer information that we thought might be pertinent based on all the questions that had been asked by the judge and the defendant and prosecutor thus far.

I raised my hand and told them that my dad had been arrested for a DUI when I was very young and that he was found innocent by the court... and that i was too young to have taken part of any of it so it shouldn't affect my judgement.... but then I mentioned that I grew up in home environment where drugs and alcohol were readily abused... One other person mentioned her 2 DUI convictions... another man mentioned how he was hit by a drunk diver... and the 2 others didn't raise their hands.

The judge and the prosecutor and the defendants lawyer all went and did a "sidebar" and came back and immediately dismissed me, the gal with the 2 DUI's and the guy who was hit by a drunk driver.

So I went up, got my paper showing my service to give to my work... and headed home... thus ending my adventure in the land of jury duty... maybe next year i'll get to sit on a jury!


  1. Usually, that happens all in one day. I once got that far in jury selection, but was excused. It was a dog bite case and I think one of the attorneys did not like I was an accountant. I have other suspicions, but I was excused.

  2. I've had jury duty several times and I find the whole process facinating. We have it for two weeks at a time in my state but its random, not an annual thing. When I was there everyone talked about wanting to get a "good" case, I guess meaning something exciting. My last time I did get a "good" case, and it was horrifying. A charge of vehicular homicide against a woman in the deaths of her 8 and 11 year old sons. The trial lasted two weeks and the press mobbed us afterwards just like on T.V. but from now on I'm hoping for really boring cases or none at all.