I received a summons in the mail last week saying I had been selected to be part of a jury pool. So Tuesday night I called the phone number and was told to appear at the courthouse the following morning.
So I get to the courthouse about twenty-five minutes early and find a parking spot in front, unlike last year when I orbited the courthouse a time or two before settling on a out back spot. I hand the bailiff my jury card and go into courthouse to sit. People straggle in and sit. Say hi to a few. Everyone si reminded to turn cell-phones off.
Finally we watch video explaining why serving on a jury is important, really want to quibble at them for calling the United States a democracy but keep silent. Better low profile and causing no fuss than being labeled a rabble-rouser.
We rise for the judge and get down to selecting jury candidates. One of the questions asked is if anyone has served on a jury in this county in the past two years, one other person and myself raise our hands. He gives his name and they consult the computer, he had served in Jan of 2004 so he has to stay. Then I give my name and once again they consult the computer oracle and lo they determine I had sat on a jury in that courthouse just last year, so the judge offers me the option of leaving then or staying. If I stay, the chance of selection is almost zil because my name is automatically placed at the end of any possible candidates. I stay just in case. They need 36 jurors and have 66 who responded. So the process of weeding out people contninue. Over 65? You can be excused and so some take the escape. Work at the state mental hospitals? You are excused. Work for state department of corrections? Excused. Funtionally illiterate? One elderly man was excused. Finally the judge gets down to 'pressing personal needs that could interfere with serving on a jury.' The best excuse had to have been the woman who pleaded she was needed at work since all their computer records had been lost and they were re-entering them before the March tax deadline. She was excused. The most original try to escape jury duty was the blonde woman who stood up and asked to be excused since she had to be in New Orleans on Friday to serve with a Mardi Gras Krewe. The judge refused her excuse naturally. Still had 47 people sitting on the benches so the clerks started calling names at random until they had 36 selected. I was not selected and neither was the Mardi Gras Krewe lady.
Thus ends my tour of jury duty this year. Who knows what the future holds.