Monday, July 30, 2007

Jury Duty!!

In Queens, one is served their Jury Summons in the mail with instructions to call in to see if your designated code number has been selected. Every night beginning on an assigned date, you call a toll free number to see if you have been summoned to report to a dank, depressing court house in the middle of nowhere. I was instructed to begin calling Friday, 27 July. I did, and was not so summoned, but I had to call again tonight. My luck just ran out. I am to report tomorrow by 8:30. I have managed to dodge this bullet for many years, this time I must bite it.

The first time I was summoned to Jury Duty, I was in my mid 20s. I made past the exhaustive voir dire and all the way into the jury box before being dismissed by one of the attorneys. I went into it feeling proud to be part of the system. I envisioned the process as being somewhat regal. Maybe too many episodes of LA Law, but I expected intelligent attorneys, a somber learned judge, crisp bailiffs, and an interested jury pool. I came out of it very disillusioned. Even in the late 80s early 90s people went into the jury room dressed like they were going to to pick their kids up from school. The attorneys were disheveled, and that is being kind. The judge consistently dropped twenty five cent words that he used incorrectly. He was so in love with the sound of his voice that he blessed us with his fractured oratory for 40 minutes!

Oh well, that was nearly 20 years ago in Manhattan. Maybe Queens County Courthouse will be different. I will let you know in a future post...

r.

12 comments:

JYankee said...

Oh the LOVELY duty of every US citizen... thank god i live in Japan right now!

seagrape said...

good thing I am exempt from jury duty until Max's seventh birthday.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Aawwwwww......

Epimenides said...

Sounds like a drag, rebecca! I'm glad I missed mine while I was in Ghana!!
The one duty I am happiest of missing out on, though, was when I was summoned to be one of those guys counting ballots on the national elections!

Kate said...

You know, it kind of interests me that some people get called more than once, and other people not at all. I have a friend who has needed to report 3 times, and I've never been called. Not that I'm complaining...

eastcoastdweller said...

Oh wow, that has not yet happened to me, knock on wood! May Your case be short and simple, not The Trial of the Century!

David said...

...blessed us with his fractured oratory for 40 minutes! New York judges are a friggin pleasure aren't they. Gives one great faith in "the system."

Hope you get off easy, or at least get an interesting case. :)

Uncle Phatato said...

I was called last year. I was teaching a creative writing seminar, and luckily no kids signed up for the week I was called in. It was a case in which marijuana was a BIG deal. I sooo wanted to be in the jury, just to see how it was...but alas, I was dismissed, like you. I was 25. And I felt proud to be a part of the system. Just like you put :)

I FINALLY put up my thank you for the Creative Blogger...check it out (it was a bit winded...)

The World According to Me said...

Hi Rebecca

I'm wondering how the jury service is coming along?

Personally I have never had the experience, and I'm not sure if I would like it or not?

SOUL: said...

i got called to jury duty once... i actually wanted to do it..also my love of crime and law shows etc... well... my shrink decided it might not be a good idea, since we didn't know the nature of the case. hmmmm. bummer . oh well. some ppl never want to go , and do anything to get out of it, and the ones who want to..don't get to. what a messed up system eh?
latah

Rebecca said...

The SYSTEM is fine. It's the PEOPLE that fuck it up!

SOUL: said...

touche`
lord i hope i spelled that right. blah