Live-blogging jury duty*

*…Not really. Because I’m fairly sure that’s illegal.

Let’s try:

Slightly time-delayed reporting on jury duty!

I’m actually pretty excited about it.

I’ve been training for this my entire life, what with the marathon sessions of Law & Order. (And Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Trial by Jury and oh my God, am I now in that one?!)

Some of you who’ve been reading since way back in the day will recall the last time my courtroom dreams came so close to coming true. I’m proud to report that:

  • On my way in, I passed two men shaking hands. “Are you a good lawyer?” (Oof. Good morning!)
  • The “You, the Juror” video has yet to be updated
  • The word “Juror[rrr] is still pronounced in a questionably harsh way
  • I am still off-the-charts excited to be here

It’s a pretty neato setup with tons of cozy chairs and not one but two “quiet rooms!” (Although, if I may be nitpicky, the spot where I’m sitting and doing my [slightly more paid] work is also the spot where someone else is sitting and doing her not-so quiet work on her cellular device. Despite the “no cellular devices” sign and despite the “yes, quiet” signs there’s a lot of “more than a little loud” conversation via phone.

But, you know, we are all of us unique individuals with extenuating circumstances, each and every one of us, all throughout the day and night. Together.

That said, by 10am I had cleared out two inboxes, turned in three articles, and read a little bit in excited. I’d also used the bathroom solo and had two snacks. (<—Totally Casual, Not At All Suspiciously Excited To Be Here Sally, that’s me.)

Let’s see, what else?

When we entered the jury room we were each told to pick a number from the bin (I got 6) and then report it to the lady at the desk. “That’s your panel number,” she told me. An hour later, she told the entire room “You’ll notice it’s a smaller group today, so we actually only have one panel and you all have the same one.” SO WHY THE NUMBER PULL? At least give me a good card trick or guessing game result.

I ate my lunch really early as well, because = solo lunchtime never happens at any time in my house, so why wait? That said, as I reached over for my apple, I instinctively froze and then put it back in my bag. “No, not too much, we still have a long way to go,” I cautioned myself, a la The Neverending Story OUT LOUD TO A ROOM WHERE I WAS INDEED NOT ALONE EVEN A LITTLE BIT.

Oh! Also! We were instructed that, if we were picked for a jury panel, we shouldn’t try to go revisit the scene of any crime or gather independent evidence. Yes. Because I’m gonna go all Nancy Drew over here and…

…Okay. That was actually some good advice.

And just when I was wondering if I’d get picked to stay at a motel for a month or something incredible like that, the judge walked into the jury room. (Lady at the front desk: “Well, this doesn’t usually happen!” Me: “Why? Why doesn’t this usually happen? Why? What’s going on? I’m releasing myself on my own recognizance.”) and gave us a roughly fifteen-minute speech about how important we all are (yes) and that even the act of sitting in that room for a few hours is crucial to the American judicial system (…maybe) before dismissing us.

I almost objected.

I almost rattled off my Jerry Orbach trivia.

I almost ate my apple. (I didn’t, because it’s a long way home.)

But in the end, I took my $17.20 and went to Target.

Jury Duty



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