Monday, 17 March 2003

Jury Duty II

So I reported for jury duty this morning, fully expecting to sit around all day while they waded through the list. This based on horror stories of jury duty from friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Denton County, thankfully, does things a little differently than our Dallas brethren. About 250 prospective jurors showed up this morning. After being sworn in by one of the judges and being given a rundown on qualifications and exemptions, the district clerk informed us that the courts needed 232 jurors to fill all of its panels today. That meant 18 lucky folks were walking out of there. I was not one of those 18.

The first case was a felony, and they needed 42 people from the panel, of which the attorneys on either side would whittle down to 12. These first 42 totally lucked out, since as the clerk was getting ready to call their names, she received word the trial had been cancelled/postponed. The next 2 sets of jurors were also for felonies, 42 each. Then came a set of 24 for a misdemeanor trial. Then a set of 20 for another misdemeanor. The room was thinning out; were the odds of getting called getting better or worse? (Didn’t really matter; computer system had kicked out the various lists, completely at random, minutes before, after all jurors had reported in.)

On the 3d misdemeanor trial, my name was called. The good news was that I didn’t have to report to the courtroom until 1pm. Not enough time to go in to the office for a bit, too much time to hang around the courthouse. So I came home for a while. I’ll head back about noon, 1 out of 24, and they’ll take 6 of us.

I don’t really mind one way or the other. Thankfully, my employer pays me if I’m at work or jury duty, and I donated my $6/$10 a day ($10 if you actually sit on a jury, otherwise $6 for reporting for service) to the Boys & Girls Club of Denton County. It’s a misdemeanor trial, which means it shouldn’t go more than a day or two. Should be interesting to see what happens later this afternoon.

posted on March 17, 2003 11:07 AM




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