Friday, December 20, 2013

Jury Duty

I was called for Jury Duty several weeks ago. Ever since I became a registered voter at 18 I've wanted to be on a jury. I have always thought it would be interesting to see the judicial process in action. I've only ever seen it on television.

I got my notice in the mail about a week before the date. I went to the county courthouse annex and wandered around until I found the correct court room. After I walked through the metal detector, a clerk handed me a form to read about the procedures and told me to sit down behind the barrier. I'd guess there were about 75 people in the room that had also been called that day. At the appointed time, the clerk started calling names from her list to see who was present. I was juror number 103 and it took awhile for her to call my name, so I assumed she was calling names by juror number. It seemed only about a third of the people called had actually come.

There was some activity in front of the barrier as various clerks entered and chatted. Since this was new to me, I wasn't sure what was happening. I could hear bits of conversation - 'hasn't arrived', 'not here yet'. After about 30 minutes a clerk stood up and announced that the defendant hadn't appeared and we would all be released. They did give us the standard jury duty compensation of $6. Count it, six dollars. The clerk joked that it probably wasn't even enough for a Whataburger.

I was disappointed to say the least.

1 comment:

  1. I used to get summoned for jury duty pretty regularly, but never have been able to do it with kids at home in my care. after kids were grown, I once made it as far as being questioned as a potential juror, but they didn't choose me. I never really wanted to have to go to downtown Dallas anyway. But now that we've moved out here and getting to the courthouse is a breeze, I haven't been called for jury duty at all. I think I've been lost in the system.