Thursday, September 4, 2008

Civic Duties

This week I was called to jury duty. I don't know how many of you have actually made it into the courtroom and up to the jurors box but let me tell you it was interesting! Today I reported to the Hall of Justice in downtown San Jose. Panel 8 was called and we filed into the courtroom of Judge Brown. The place was packed! The entire process of establishing a panel of 12 impartial potential jurors took us about 2 hours with excuses galore and some seriously intriguing stories from people about crimes that had happened to them or were perpetrated by them. I learned things about strangers that would curl your hair (mine is a bit more fro style as I write this!) One man was held at gunpoint in his own home by a burglar that, after holstering his gun, shot himself in the leg and then died in the man's living room. Another woman's husband was wrongfully arrested on charges of murder but was later identified as NOT the perpetrator by a witness. And this was just the icing on the cake of crimes served up this morning.
Yes, my turn in the box came and my story was much more boring than any of the thrilling tales listed above. I simply will be in a state of financial hardship if I am out of work for 5-7 days. I was gently excused by our friendly and hilarious judge but I kind of wished I could have stayed. I really wanted to see justice through and to have the full experience of being in the midst of a criminal trial. I guess I'll have to wait another year before I can enjoy my civic duties to their fullest. Ah well...

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