I received the letter for jury duty in early May, but had to defer it because of a major project at work. Apparently I wasn’t thinking straight when I only deferred it for three months because when I got the letter for early August I thought, “I can’t do this. I’m in the middle of the Summer Reading Program.” So I tried to defer it again. NOPE. Denied. I had to go. No more excuses.
Maybe they wouldn’t call my number. I crossed my fingers when I called the night before. My number was 4. they called jurors 1-76. Doh!
Thankfully my husband was home on Friday and could drive me all the way down to Oregon City, where our municipal offices are for the county I’m in. But If I had to be there longer than Friday I was in trouble (Public transportation from my house to there is terrible).
When I arrived I waited with my fellow possible-jurors. We watched a couple of videos about how important it is to be in a jury and what to expect. An Eagles concert was turned on for us to watch (which was kind of bizarre). It was my expectation that we wouldn’t get further than that room. Most of the people I know who have been called have left early because most cases end in a plea bargain before they get to trial. But no, we all ended up in voir dire, when we were randomly asked a round of awkward questions. One of the questions was “How do you feel about having a glass of wine and driving.” I have to admit that I was shocked that most of the people in the room thought it was OK. The question came around to me and I said, “no, if you drink anything you don’t get behind the wheel at all.” Am I the only one that thinks this? I kind of feel like I am now.
It was a drunk driving case, so I thought that surely they would never choose me to be on the jury with that answer. But guess what? They called my number. The only thought in my head as I was lining up to go into the courtroom was “fuuuck.”
All of this happened before noon.
When we got into court they wasted no time. Both lawyers stated their case, the one witness took the stand, was asked questions, and then we went to lunch. When we came back the lawyers did closing arguments and then it was on us to decide. It took us a few minutes to all decide the person was guilty, but we did spend some time talking about why. I really felt like it was important to make sure we talked about it and made sure we were making the right decision. I mean, we were all talking a day out to go there and do this. We should do it right. I feel confident we made the right decision.
It was an interesting process and I learned a lot from it. I have to admit, I’ve been reluctant to serve on a jury. Maybe even a bit more than reluctant. It’s something I’ve never wanted to do. It always felt like this huge burden. But I’m glad I got to experience the process and it worked out perfectly for me since it was only one day.