Considering jury duty

This my live account of the last two days. It was almost all from my phone and unedited, stream of consciousness. Sorry grammar fiends, sometimes quantity does trump quality. You’ll get my gist, typos and all.

8:07 – I’m going to try live blogging my day. First, I need coffee. I can’t believe I waited this long for caffeine.

8:25 – I have my official sticker. I have my spot at a table. I had half-hoped that because my jury summons was in my maiden name I would be turned away. I’ve experienced governmental red tape far more trivial than a legitimate name change literally just being crossed with a ball point pen. No ID needed. Ordering my coffee took longer. Observations include:

– When the vending machine gives change it is cacophonous

– There are two sections of the large room we are in. The other side was probably the first 50 people so they are starting before us. They are watching a video, which I presume we will watch too. I childishly saw the flat screen tv and thought maybe Kathie Lee and Hoda could entertain me, even CNN or (gasp) FOX. But, alas, this is not an airport terminal like it feels like.

– I’m pretty sure Lester Holt is narrating the video we’ll watch. I can’t see the screen and they are watching far on the other side of the room. Stay tuned…

9:01

No video for me yet. I’m still so curious about this Lester Holt thing! My Emma turned me on to Savannah Guthrie’s own live tweeting of jury duty today using the hashtag #thingsnotoverheardonjuryduty
I’m trolling for a response, nothing yet.
Currently I’m sifting through my latest Rachael Ray magazine. I have two recipes so far I want to try and I’m hungry for a roast at 9 am, thanks Rach. Let me say that I am not the most bored person here. Some people have me beaten by an extreme marathon. So glad for my coffee, but really having anxiety about getting up to use the restroom. I’m cosy in my corner and what of someone steals my spot?! I’ve put up curtains and a tablecloth.

9:25 Movie time! It isn’t Lester Holt…wait it is and he has a MUSTACHE!
This court serves 5 million, over 400 judges, 25000 cases each year.

9:45 The first “panel” from my side is called. Clearly this…wait my turn!

12:02 I’m in. There are many observations that are interesting, but I cannot share. There are other things I’ve been considering that I can share, but lunch is my #1 priority. Stay tuned…

1:00 Lunch procured, as The H would say. Besides the tomato being too acidic for the roof of my mouth and the crusty bread consequently tearing the roof of my mouth to pieces, it was nice. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can share with you and what I can’t. I, being the person who doesn’t like to break rules and cries at the thought of getting in trouble, will proceed with my considerations accordingly.

– When things come to the luck of the draw, for once, my name was drawn. Next time can it be the lottery?

– Many people got asked their hobbies and favorite TV shows. I didn’t. This made me sad because I was putting great thought into what my answer for the TV show would be. It was like I was deciding what to wear on school picture day and then school gets cancelled.

– I hope some bored soul enjoys reading the Rachael Ray magazine I left behind.

– Bagh, there are so many things that I would love to share, but I can’t! Let me just say that experiencing this civic duty first hand in such wide-serving court is very interesting and informative. I am most disappointed in the lack of free lunch that I’d hoped for based of The H’s experience. But that was in Kansas, after all. They at least know how to have good heat control in the building. This could be a real deal breaker! Someone working there has their priorities straight.

– Because of my long lunch break before things get started I also go to observe the cutest ugly vagabond pigeon warming itself by a fire. Those who know me well know that I rarely find animal pictures or videos cute, funny, or any other positive adjective, so the fact that I took my gloves off on this frigid day to take a pictures of a pigeon of all animals, is a sign of my empathic growth.

My updates will probably cease until I’m done for the day. I hope you’ll check back at the day’s end!

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Day 2

8:55 getting ready for my breakfast of sweet breads and courthouse coffee. #stoked. Missed that we had an incredible view yesterday with the weather. Snapped a sweet pic of lake Michigan, but will have to post that later when I have better reception.

2:38 verdict is in. I’m on the train home, to work actually. In the end we had three tenants that we were looking for the plaintiff’s side to prove. One of those tenants was above the burden of proof threshold of 51%. The other two were not proved, in our opinion, therefore the defendant did not have to pay anything to the plaintiff. It is interesting that you can fault someone for an accident, but then fail to prove that their injuries came from said accident. There was a lot of legal jargon thrown at you, which at the end, when you’re trying to decide is not the best time to confuse your jurors in my opinion. But that is the court’s way of doing business. Believe it or not we laughed a lot during deliberation. Mostly due to an older woman’s witty one liners, but we were actually allowed to have open conversation for once. We could have small talk before, but it is far more interesting to talk about what you are actually there to do. In the end I’m confident we made he right decision. I have my certificate of jury duty to hang on our living room wall and I have two checks for $17.20 with my name on it. Some other considerations:

– we got a free lunch and one lady ordered a hot dog. Now I know we can blame her for deciding to get a hot dog from a mysterious business that was site unseen. BUT we cannot blame her that it was ice cold. Ick! The rest of us had better lunches than her, but lackluster still.

– the judge. At times he seemed…over it. Bored? He would start humming at odd times, lean back on his chair as if he were in high school English class, and eat candy. I’m sure this is routine for him, and he was paying attention more than me. But still, with his old tv references and jokes, he was not what I expected. I am glad he had a sense of humor and seemed to think we got it right. Plus, he made a joke about stopping at the drugstore on the way home to get a frame for our jury duty certificates.

– courtroom chairs, not where the courts spend their money. Which, as trite as it may seem, don’t you want your jurors to be comfortable so they’ll worry more about the facts and less about their butts being numb.

I have many more thoughts, but for now my thumbs are tired and my train stop is next.

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