So, today I “served” my civic duty, jury duty. (I say “served” in quotes because I didn’t actually get chosen for a jury, but I did finish my obligation.) Anyone who heard I was going wondered why I hadn’t found some excuse to postpone. I do believe it’s an obligation to the community, though, and had postponed several times in the past. So I went (fortunately, just a few blocks down the street).
It was intriguing. Yes, there was a fair amount of waiting. But there was wireless internet connections, so it wasn’t bad … I just worked most of the time. In the courtroom, one lawyer (defense) was silver-tongued and not too visually polished … but likable. The other (for the State) was a jury-trial virgin, extra slick-looking … yet very amateur-sounding. He wasn’t really helping the State too much, I don’t think. The judge seemed eminently fair, what you would hope for if he was your judge in a trial. And as poor of an opinion as I have of some of our US citizens, I was actually really impressed by the fair, reasonable, and generally intelligent nature of the jury pool that I saw.
The one thing that I would complain about is the breaks … between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm, there were (in reality) nearly 3 hours of breaks. If the courts were a little more efficient in the “break” arena, they’d probably only need half the jurors.
Was today a costly (to me) exercise in democracy? Yes … but worth it.