Courtroom Drama

Got your attention, huh?  Actually, the biggest drama was wondering if I was going to find a parking spot in the public parking garage near the courthouse.  I did, thank goodness, since my hubby had driven me over there the day before on a “dry run” to make sure I wouldn’t get lost so if I had NOT gotten a spot, I was going to have to punt.  That’s never a good thing when I’m nervous. 

You see, I received a summons several weeks ago to appear for jury duty today.  It’s my first jury duty in this county.  I was summoned once before here but it happened to fall on the first day at my new job at the college so my new boss was able to get me released.  That was almost 10 years ago.  Prior to that, I had been summoned in another county where we lived at the time and that time I wasn’t so lucky.  I was picked almost immediately that day to serve on a jury that ended up in court for a week and a half.  It was an interesting civil case but it happened to fall in the winter, during a terribly snowy and icy period of time.  Today, gratefully, there was no snow on the ground.

There were a LOT of people in the pool this time…… 130 folks to be exact.  I was pretty amazed.  Turns out that we were all summoned to possibly be picked for a grand jury.  Yikes!  I didn’t know what a grand jury was but it sounded rather more serious than the last case I was on.  Then, when the judge explained that this grand jury would be obligated to serve for 18 months and possibly as long as 2 years, I almost jumped up and yelled, “Off with their heads!”   Two  years!  For Pete’s sake, that sure differed from the little letter I had stuffed in my purse that said something about the typical jury duty lasting a week. 

But it got worse.  The judge went on to explain that grand juries are selected to investigate such things as organized crime, murder, government corruption, things like that.  Visions of a horse’s head showing up in my bed were starting to affect my mood considerably.  We all filed out to await our summons in groups of 30 where the bench would ask us 13 questions to determine our eligibility to serve.  Of course, looking on the bright side, they only needed 26 out of 130 folks and even then, those 26 weren’t automatically guaranteed to be picked for the grand jury.  They would report next month along with the other lucky folks from other counties who would then be further narrowed down to the final grand jury.

To make a long story short, we all sat around as two groups were called into the inner sanctums.  Some chatted, some snacked on vending machine cuisine, and I was reading a book on predestination.  Around lunchtime, a worker came in to announce that the court had already found 26 people eligible to serve so the rest of us could all go home.  Wow, I couldn’t believe my ears.  Needless to say, there was much jubilation and scurrying to beat a hasty retreat.  As I was heading out the door, I asked one of the monitors if I had to come back tomorrow. 

“Oh, no, dear!” she answered.  “You’re all through here.  Enjoy the rest of your week.” 

Alrighty then.  I do believe I will.


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