Present Tense

Jury Duty….YAY!

I’ve been a registered voter for many, many years (I voted for Reagan, just to give you a hint as to the number of years) and yet, I’ve never been called for jury duty.  Until now.  Yep, went to the old mailbox last week and saw it mixed in with the catalogs and bills;  Jury Summons.  Here’s the weird part:  I am excited!  What?  Jane, it’s JURY DUTY!  Nobody wants to do jury duty!

I do.  I have been pondering my giddy reaction to something that most people equate with being water-boarded and I have a couple of theories as to why jury duty intrigues me.  First off, I think trials are cool (as long as it’s not mine and I’ve spent a bit of time in front of judges in my wild youth).  When I was a reporter, fresh out of college, my first job was at a small radio station in the county seat and so I would go and watch murder trials.  Mostly because I had a raging crush on the Calhoun County prosecutor, but also because I am fascinated at the methodical way the evidence is laid out, like the narrative of a horrible, sickening story.  It’s a lot like on TV only much slower moving and it can get kind of icky when the pathologists start talking about wound blowback and blood spatters and how a lead pipe can crush a man’s skull; murder is quite messy, but we all know that from watching “CSI”.

So, I was a bit of a courtroom groupie back in the day, but I there is more to it.  I think it’s because I’m unapologetically judgmental. Oh, yeah, I’ve got an opinion on pretty much everything and have no problem expounding on that.  If someone asks me what I think or what they should do or who I think is a jerk, I will tell them, in no uncertain terms that I think they need to grow up, take control of their lives and that Charlie Sheen is a gigantic ass!  So, jury duty doesn’t make me nervous or anxious about deciding someone’s fate.  I think that I’m very fair and will be happy to listen to the facts from the prosecutor and the defense.  I will then weigh the facts, render my verdict, and fulfill my civic duty.  I will be firm, but fair.  Unless there is cruelty to animals involved. In that case,  all bets are off.  GUILTY!! GUILTY!! GUILTY!!!!!!!

January 4, 2010 - Posted by | Musings


  1. I agree totally with you! I’ve been waiting to be called for Jury duty and haven’t! Nice column

    Comment by Francesca Amari | January 4, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’ve been on a jury twice and I found it really interesting! This last time in JeffCo I sat through an entire trial lasting 3 1/2 weeks, heard the closing arguments, then another juror and I were dismissed because we were actually “alternates”. We had no idea previously, but we sat through the entire thing, then we did not get the opportunity to be on the final decision. It was quite a let down. I felt like I was a failure!

    Comment by Ellen | January 4, 2010 | Reply

  3. I still look forward to another jury duty summons!

    Comment by Ellen | January 4, 2010 | Reply

  4. Unapologetically judgmental…..I like that in a person. I’ve never been called and would love to be so that I can have a day off of work:) No, the system in this country with all of it’s flaws, is pretty amazing. To be a part of that would be an honor and not many people feel that way.

    Comment by Kandis | January 5, 2010 | Reply

  5. I was chosen as a jury member in a murder trial several years ago in Denver County. It all kind of had a ring of unreality to it. I almost felt like I was on an episode of Law and Order. I kept thinking, “please don’t show any pictures of the victim.” Of course when they got around to it, they weren’t 8 x 10 glossies – they had to show them on a huge screen in vivid Technicolor. I didn’t sleep well for weeks, but at least we sent the creep off to prison for the rest of his life. I haven’t been called since, but would do it again in a heartbeat. It’s a fascinating process.

    Comment by Steve | January 5, 2010 | Reply

  6. I am so glad to hear you say this, I have been called for jury duty 3 times and put on a jury all three times. It was a fascinating (and one time, very frustrating – hung jury for 2 days) process each time and I was so glad to be a part of it. What a great learning experience for anyone! Whenever someone at the office says they got called for jury duty they are like ‘Ugh, I’ve got jury duty. How can I get out of it?’ and I say ‘Yea! You have jury duty, I’m so excited for you.’

    Comment by Kristin | January 5, 2010 | Reply

  7. The only thing about jury duty/trials I know about is from movies, bringing to mind “12 Angry Men” and “My Cousin Vinny”. I totally agree with your verdict for animal abusers!

    Comment by imasink | January 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Well, I guess I’ll have to wait to find out more, too. My trial was cancelled…sigh…..

      Comment by janelondon | January 7, 2010 | Reply

    • I’ve been called for jury duty a couple of times. I have only actually sat on 1 jury. It was an assault case. 2 women were fighting over a guy! Yep its true & on an RTD bus no less. by the time we got to the jury room we were laughing so hard the baliff had to come in & ask us to be quiet as they could hear us out in the courtroom. We wanted to find them both guilty of stupidity! I don’t remember what the outcome was but was mesmerized by the whole process. The last time I was called I got as far as being one of the final 14 or so & then got disqualified by the defendants atty. Maybe next time.

      Comment by vicki | January 7, 2010 | Reply

  8. I’ve been called I think seven times. Actually had to serve only once. They didn’t have a case. Gigantic waste of time.

    Comment by Mike | January 9, 2010 | Reply

  9. The only summons I ever recieved was during my years of living in Brooklyn, and , of course I was extatic! The same court house where John Gotti was tried- I was so hoping for some high profile mobster case. I botched it up during my interview with the prosecuting atty’s. They asked my thoughts on cops (and this is right after a major police brutality case just ended) and so I gave my honest opinion – and was asked to leave! Damn!

    Comment by melissa | January 17, 2010 | Reply

  10. The thought of being “unapologetically judgmental” is nice, and I think myself as that much of the time, until people start calling you condescending. I’ve never been able reconcile that.

    Comment by Roxanne Rieske | January 18, 2010 | Reply

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