Ridiculousy Excited

Friday, February 20, 2009
I've been registered to vote since I was 18. I've voted in every national election since then, and the local ones where I've actually been currently living in the city where I was registered (see: Military, Overseas Duty Assignment).

But in all those years, I've never been summoned for jury duty. Not once. Until now!

Yes, I've been summoned to perform my duty as a citizen, and (perhaps) sit in judgment of my fellow citizens.

Of course, they usually summon three times as many people as they may need, and I won't know until the night before if I even have to go in on the day I'm summoned. And once there, I may not get called. And if I'm called, I may be eliminated during voir dire, seeing as how I'm such a dirty liberal and all.*

But this is a duty of citizenship that I've never been called upon to fulfill. And while I realize that often this duty is boring and a big time waster, I'm still ridiculously excited. Because the alternative is oh-so-much worse.

I love the Constitution.
_____________

*My county is overwhelmingly conservative. A liberal like me is somewhat of a statistical outlier, which means I may be eliminated in favor of a juror who more closely resembles the general population.

9 comments:

Shawn Powers said...

I actually looked forward to jury duty as well. Sadly, I never got called, and just got sent home.

Good luck!

Wendy said...

Good for you.

The last time I got called I got dumped real quick-like during voir dire. Seems it was a wrongful death case, I work for attorneys who do personal injury work, AND turned out one of the defense attorneys went to law school with one of my bosses at that time.

I was honest, they asked if I could be impartial and I told them no, because I knew exactly what goes into getting the Plaintiff's case in front of a jury.

WendyB_09

MWT said...

Woo! :)

The one time I've been summoned, it was while I was a college student taking 18 credits, and it was the middle of midterms. I had mixed feelings about being there - on the one hand, I really wanted the opportunity to participate, on the other hand, I had a lot of homework and studying to do. In the end I went to the courthouse for three selections but they didn't pick me for any of them.

Now that I'm only working 40 hours a week and have lots of time, I wish I'd get summoned again.

mom in northern said...

Be sure you take your reading and knitting material along...there will be a lot of time for either...

Been there and done that on several occasions.

Random Michelle K said...

I got called for Grand Jury duty several years ago. Really enjoyed, however, I now have even bigger issues with the DUI laws.

You wouldn't believe the number of 3rd or subsequent DUIs that came up.

(deep breath)

This is not the place for that rant.

Jury duty is fun! Remind me to tell you about my surprise!

Jim Wright said...

The last time I got called (for Jury Duty in Alaska) I was living in SoCal and deployed to Iraq.

They excused me.

Now that I live here full time, and work for myself and have loads of time on my hands, nothing, they never call.

Stupid legal system, all flirt and no commitment. coquettish bitch.

Nathan said...

You will get asked if you can be fair and impartial. You will, of course, answer, "Yes".

You will then get asked some other question that requires a vaguely intelligent answer. Your answer will not only be intelligent, it will also carry a hint of nuance (showing how impartial you are).

You will be excused.

Janiece Murphy said...

Nathan, if I hide my intelligence and wipe the drool off my chin, will I then be able to participate, surprising all with my analytical mind and amazing grip of fairness and impartiality?

John the Scientist said...

Until a few years ago, and advanced degree was an almost automatic disqualification in this state. Either someone challenged that or they have a shortage of people, but a few of my peers have now served. Disquals of Ph.D.s are still over 50% in my slightly limited sample, though (~20 people).

I really want to serve on one sometime, but I do have a huge beef with the way they pick jurors - they could do a pre-screening for everyone on one day and then call the day before if they scheduled and planned a little better. They don't care, because it's not their wage-earning potential they are wasting.

I've gotten 3 summonses in the past 8 years that have requested me to show up for selection the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, because that's when the county court year starts. The first two times I canceled travel plans, but was called the night before with a dismissal. The third time I said "screw it' and went home anyway. They called to cancel. That kind of jerking citizens around is why they get such low participation rates. I realize that it's a duty, and I have to bend to their schedule somewhat, but calling someone in the day before a major, family holiday just paints a big "Fuck You, Citizen" in bright neon over the courthouse.

These days, I stay home for Thanksgiving, and I will show up, but by God I'm going to give someone a piece of my mind after I serve (I figure writing a nasty letter in the State Capitol's newspaper will get me disqualified, so I will wait until I serve or until I move out of the state).