7 Hours of My Life I'll Never Get Back

Jury duty has to be the most incredibly perfect opportunity for people watching. I had jury duty this week. I showed up at 7:45 and waited in a room until 9:30. There were 200 potential jurors there. Apparently there were a lot of cases that day that may have potentially needed jurors. So the jury room moderator would get up from her post where her ass is glued to a chair. She looks at a computer and says to the room "It looks like there is a trial that will need 15 jurors. When I call your name please say here." And of course she called my name.

This was a criminal trial accusing a woman of posession and use of meth. If you know anything about Portland you will say to yourself "No shit, sherlock." That's because there is so much meth here that it's practically in the water. So they interviewed the 15 of us and decided that they only need 6 jurors. When I first got there my objective was to get out of any trial as quickly as possible. Then my competitive nature took over and I immediately saw this as a competition. The DA and the lawyer quickly met and made their decision. "Agnes, America has decided. And YOU have been chosen as one of the finalists in this trial."

So the judge first briefs us on how we shold approach the trial. The only thing we knew was that a woman was being charged with posession of meth. We were told that she was innocent until proven guilty. We were told that we should not make any kind of judgements or decisions until we have heard all of the evidence and weighed all the options.

Then the defendant walked in and all that went out the window. Now, I really really tried to not judge a book by its cover. But check this out: We were told that this woman was 24. That's 6 years younger than me. She looked like she was at least 45, and that's being really generous. Her hair looked like it had not been washed or combed in months. She had 2 of her own teeth. 2! There was much more, but I don't want to sound like a total bitch. I had to sit there and literally repeat this phrase over in my head "She could just be homeless, she could have some sort of disease, don't judge, don't judge." It was very difficult.

So after like 5 minutes the judge calls a recess. We were all escorted into a small room and told not to talk about the trial to eachother or anybody. 30 minutes later the judge walks in the room and tells us that the trial has been postponed and that we are excused. We will not be needed. The defendant became violently ill in the court room. Right after we were told this, a guy sitting next to me whispered "Withdrawls, no doubt".

4 comments:

BigDubb said...

Ya, withdrawls a bitch...

katie said...

Holy shit! That's awesome. I have always wanted to get called for jury duty. I would have a hard time not judging as well.

Kiddo78 said...

I agree with Katie - I think it would be kinda interesting! Being on salary, I'd still get paid at work...isn't it a law that employers have to let you out for jury duty and still pay you?? Because it's our civic duty?

ab said...

The employer thing probably varies from state to state, I'm not sure. I got a sheet of paper that said that in Oregon it's illegal for an employer to fire or even threaten to fire an employee because of jury duty.