This morning I drove to the county seat, a town south of me, to serve as a juror. In this county, you are “called” for a two-month period. I received a summons for two days last month. However, I was not needed and did not serve. I was assigned another two says this month so I turned up this morning as requested.
I was happy to find a free parking spot in the lot adjacent to the courthouse. That town is installing a system on the streets and the lot by the courthouse which will charge 75 cents/hour to park. They had intended to have the system installed before now but a delay in getting the necessary equipment and having it installed meant we could still park for free.
When I reached the designated courtroom, I was told to sit in a particular seat. On the seat was a badge (with a number on it) and a short form which indicated I had served my time as a juror. I was a little puzzled by the form and thought I would need to turn it in to get my pay for serving as a juror. It was a “work excuse” if I needed it. I guess the court will just mail me a check for my service. I clipped my badge to my top and waited for things to happen.
The judge came in (about 9 a.m.) and gave us some preliminary instructions. Then the assistant prosecuting attorney asked us a bunch of questions. Eventually, she completed all her questions and then the attorney for the defense asked us a bunch more questions. They were trying to determine the best 12 people to sit on the jury.
The case was a DWI case and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be picked because I said I didn’t drink when we were asked that question. Sure enough, when it got time to seat the 12 jurors, my name wasn’t called. I joined the rest of the group in turning in my badge and leaving for the day. It was nearly 1:00 p.m. We had been told once the jury was sworn in, they were going to recess for an hour for lunch. Still, they were planning to complete the case today.
Unless the attorneys got carried away with their questions, that should happen I would think. According to the prosecutor, they were only going to call one witness. The incident happened in 2011 so I wonder how accurate his comments would be.
Still, I did my civic duty. I turned up when told to and was prepared to hear the case. I was glad it wasn’t something more serious like a murder trial. I shall keep my eye on the newspaper to see if there is any mention of the settlement of the case published there.