2013

jury duty

Wednesday and today I had jury duty. Jury selection had started days before and there were eleven people already in the box. But they still needed one juror and four alternates. Why four? Because this was a case involving torture and murder back in 2003. Also, the defendant had entered a dual plea of "not guilty" and "not guilty by reason of mental defect". The latter plea because of hinted methaphedamine use by both the defendant and the deceased. We were told there was going to be testimony from psychologists and that there was going to be some brutal and explicit photographs. The trial was expected to take two months to resolve. About a fourth to a third of the jurors in my group were let go because of financial hardships due to the length of the trial. Some others tried to get off with the most flimsiest excuses I've ever heard and I almost busted out laughing at some of them.

At first I didn't want to be on the case because of transportation issues I have right now, but the more I heard of the case and the lines of questionings by the prosecutor and defense attorney of the prospective jurors my interest level rose. So, I did my best to pay attention to the nuances of the attorneys: what they asked, what they didn't ask, and what I thought they should have asked based on what my fellow jurors had said. The prosecutor, a late-30ish blond woman, was genial but pretty direct. The defensive attorney, a late-50ish white-haired balding man, was doing his best to be folksy. He smiled. He moved around a lot. He used hand gestures frequently. His roundabout style of questioning got on my nerves a bit (get to the frickin' question already!) and others times I thought he'd make a great story teller.

In the end, my jury service finished like it always does: the prosecutor used a challenge to excuse me. At least this time it wasn't with the very first challenge, like the last several times in a row.... but then I wasn't there on the first day. When I got home I started to wonder why the prosecutor excused me. After a while I realized I was pacing and stewing over this. It's over Vince, let it go ( 'til the next time.)
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I was picked for jury duty by Washington state while I was in Korea. The only other time was last year, I was excused because of being a full-time student.