This week I had jury duty! I was definitely more excited about it than the average citizen, but even still I was a little nervous I would get selected to sit on a long case and be sequestered for six months. Thankfully, it was incredibly uneventful, and I’ve done my part in the American legal system and won’t have to worry about it for a few years at least.
I was originally summoned during midterms this past semester, but after calling the jury summons office got it postponed to winter break. I definitely wasn’t the only student who did this as I heard heaps of other people state that they too were college students. I would recommend doing this if you are in school – if you go anyways they will just reschedule you for a break anyways.
Every court is different, but my experience was a lot of “hurry up and wait.” I regret not bring a phone charger and a book, as I spent most of the day looking out the window. I did get pulled into one “empaneling” room (where potential jurors are questioned by the attorneys) but out of the 16 called, only eight where questioned. I was in the half that didn’t get questioned, but it was a nice change of scenery. After the jurors were selected from the eight, the rest of us were sent back to wait some more. After a day of waiting, we were given a confirmation of service and sent on our way.
Overall, it was an easy way to do my civic duty. Voting is one of the duties you hear about the most, but jury duty, while more time consuming, is just as important. It’s easy to try and dodge it as much as possible, but I would say it is a good way to see the legal process at work. Your voice can have an impact if you serve on a jury, and even if you don’t just showing up allows the process to work.
Have you ever done jury duty?