Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Jury Is Out

When you read this I will be coming up on my period of jury duty. It has actually been a couple years since I've been called. But there for a while I was getting called every year. At first I would go and get put in a pool at the end of the afternoon so I'd have to come back the next day.

But then after getting questioned, one or the other lawyer would reject me. Sometimes I would wonder why. Was it that I seemed to smart? I could tell myself so. One time I had a tenuous connection to the family of a victim, any sensible defense lawyer would have wanted me excused.

But starting a few years ago I started getting selected for the jury. I've been on two juries and was an alternate one other time. And all of these experiences have been bad. Not any kind of fireworks bad, but just experiences I could have done without. One of them seemed to be an experiment that someone was running to see about getting to the limit of what “reasonable” meant to people. Since no one would otherwise have brought it before a jury.

And yet, I don't really have any urge to “get out of jury duty”. Which so many people talk about. Mention that you've got jury duty coming up and you'll often get “helpful” advice on what they would do to get out of it. And I fully realize that some people just can't afford to take that much time out. They may be caregivers of work at a job that doesn't allow time off for jury duty. I do get that.

But for me there's two things that go through my head. One, that if I was involved in a trial, I'd sure like someone like in on the jury. And the other is, frankly, it is a duty. (I also consider voting to be a duty.) And when called upon, I will go down and spend the day in the jury room and maybe even get stuck on another jury.

But it does give me time away from the computer. Time spent with other people, even if we're not allowed to talk to each other (at least about the case). Some time to spend with my thoughts. And a chance to help out this country.

 And maybe, just maybe, I'll get some ideas to write about. I can always use those. Maybe a play... Oh wait, I think that's been done.

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