Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jury Duty

I was called for jury duty for the Superior Court of Rhode Island. According to state law, I was required to serve two days in the jury waiting. If chosen, I would stay for the duration of the jury selection process.

It sounded easy, free parking, two hours for lunch and just two days of service.

Jury duty is a very strange thing. It is both fascinating to be part of the judicial system and excruciatingly boring while you wait.

I did notice that most of the people in jury room did not want to be there. A lot of the conversations focused on how to answer the lawyers’ questions so that they would scratch you from the panel. Some people didn’t want to miss work. Others had child care issues. Some just hated sitting around.

Jury duty is such an inconvenience.

I had waited a long time to be called for jury duty. It is something I have always wanted to do. However, I will admit that I too succumbed to the group think and began to hope I would be dismissed or that somehow I wouldn’t make the final cut.

It is very hard to sit in a room with 40 other people and just wait.

And wait.

And wait.

When you are forced to watch it, daytime TV becomes torture.

So, I grumbled and complained and fidgeted my way through three days of waiting to be chosen as a jury. My capacity for waiting wore thinner each day; the grumbling grew just a little louder.

They sent me home the third day, not being chosen for a jury.

When I got home, I read this at www.boston.com

Elsewhere Saturday, five U.S. troops died in separate bombings in the south, setting July on course to become the deadliest month of the nearly 9-year war for Americans.

The three days of boredom, in an air conditioned court house, I had endured for my constitutional freedoms instantly became paltry.

I will never complain about jury duty again.

1 comment:

  1. I've had the privledge of sitting 3x on a jury and it truly is a great experience. And you are so right, serving jury duty is NOT an inconvenience. Good for you on shifting your thoughts on this topic!