Posts tagged: Jury Duty
I'm done with jury duty.
Here are the final figures.
Guilty persons I helped convict: 0
Innocent persons I helped free: 0
Trials for which I was not picked: 1
Superior Court judges I wanted to speak to but never got the chance: 1
Former SR colleagues in my pool of prospective jurors: 1
Criminal defendants I saw in person: 1
Number of times I heard “Well, it's highly irregular, but I'll allow it”: 0
Courthouse employees with whom I was favorably impressed: Several
Spokane TV news people in my juror pool who now know I don't think they're ALL awful: 1
Days I actually had to serve: 1
Moments that closely resembled movie/TV courtroom dramas: 0
Column items or blog posts spun from my call to serve: 1, 367
I served just one day last week, the first of my two week term. And I have not had to report to the courthouse even once this week.
Something tells me that when I call tonight, I will hear that my juror group is not needed Friday. And that will be that.
I have mixed feelings about how this has gone. My guess is that I am not the first to feel that way.
Received a check from Spokane County Thursday — actual check reads “County of Spokane” — in the amount of $12.26. That's my juror pay.
Thank you, fellow Spokane County taxpayers. I did my best.
Any suggestions about how I should spend, donate or invest it?
I called the Superior Court recording at noon to see if they needed my juror group to report this afternoon.
So the next step is to call again after 5:30 this afternoon to see if I am needed tomorrow. My term of service runs through Friday.
I'll file further updates if circumstances warrant.
According to the Superior Court recorded message for prospective jurors, those in my particular group are to call back at noon on Monday to find out if we need to report that afternoon.
The recording does not allow you to leave a message. So you can't just say “Mark me down for 'guilty.'”
Well, I just called the Superior Court recorded message for those on jury duty. And they won't be needing me on Friday.
I'm to call tomorrow night to find out about Monday.
So, to review, here's the tally.
Days served as prospective juror: 1
Days not needed: 3
On Tuesday, during the orientation, we were told it was up to us whether we wished to speak to the media after a trial. But so far, I would not have much to reveal.
Gave up on saving that Rockwell biography for jury-duty downtime. Have plunged in and have enjoyed it.
Interesting to get a glimpse of the circumstances surrounding some of his signature paintings.
I already knew his life had not been a nonstop laugh riot. But the extent to which happiness eluded him is remarkable.
But there are lots of good details. For instance, though his illustrations for the publication are what made him famous, Rockwell apparently thought little of the Saturday Evening Post as a magazine.
Once again, my juror group was not required to report. So I'll call again tonight and find out if they want me at the courthouse on Friday.
Not having to show up certainly works in terms of being able to build my day around other out-of-the-office-activities. But it's not so great for my plan to blog about jury duty.
It's not that I am dying to be on a jury, mind you. Granted, It might be interesting. But then again, it might not.
Still, it would at least allow me to test my abilities as a predictor of personalities.
On Tuesday, my one day of actual service so far, there was a temptation when glancing at other prospective jurors to imagine what it would be like serving with them.
You know. Would that woman fall asleep during testimony? Would that guy be a calm voice of reason in the jury room?
I had a few hunches. So far, though, nothing I can prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
Well, my jurors' group doesn't have to report today.
I'll call again tonight to find out if I have to show up Thursday.
So much for Day 2.
At the entrance to the big waiting room for prospective jurors, there's a sign saying “No newspapers beyond this point.”
I thought about telling someone that I had a concealed carry permit. But sometimes saying nothing is the way to go.
When I got up this morning, I had two immediate concerns about jury duty.
First, I was worried about parking. I addressed that by arriving early at the jurors' parking lot just south of the courthouse. Really early. There were all kinds of open spaces.
My second concern had to do with a troublesome twinge in a tooth. I am a total baby about dental stuff. So “It will go away” was not the only scenario I envisioned.
What if I found myself selected for a jury and then experienced a knee-buckling toothache midway through a trial? That would not be good.
In the end, that did not turn out to be a problem. But the fact I have watched too much TV might have been my undoing.
I was in a group of 35 prospective jurors ushered into the courtroom of the Honorable Annette S. Plese. Assuming the trial made it to the finish line, 12 of us would decide a case about receiving a stolen car.
The judge asked us some questions. Then the prosecutors, addressing us as a group and occasionally individually, asked more questions.
One of the two prosecutors asked if I intended to write about the trial. I said I planned to blog about jury duty. She seemed to take that as a “No.”
The defense attorney asked if any of us had, when we processed into the courtroom, wondered what the defendant was accused of. I raised my hand. Asked to elaborate, I said I remembered being curious.
If I had to guess, I'd say that sank my chances of being selected.
You see, the defendant is African-American. The defense attorney could have understandably decided “That prospective juror walked in, saw my client and decided he was a criminal. How did he even know my client was the accused?”
Well, I'll tell you. I noticed that only one of the four people at the lawyers table was not dressed as a lawyer. Plus, decades of watching “Perry Mason” had taught me where the defendant sits. And that's where the defendant was seated.
But I guess I wouldn't have picked me for the jury either.
Q6's Sean Owsley was in my group. He didn't get selected either. Though, in his behalf, I have to note that he did not say anything that made him sound like someone possibly dabbling in profiling.
Those of us who were dismissed were sent home for the day shortly before noon.
I have to call this afternoon after 5:30 to find out if my services will be needed tomorrow.
I'm still replaying in my mind my answer to the “Did you wonder what he was accused of?” question. I can see how, in context, it might have sounded sketchy.
But I had wondered, and it's my understanding that you are supposed to tell the truth in court.
On to Day 2.
The Slice Blog will operate a bit differently this week.
I report for jury duty this morning.
But each evening during my term of service, I will file a blog post on that day's justice system activities. Won't that be fun?
Maybe not. Still, I think those who work for newspapers are required to write about their jury duty experience. It's addressed in some little-known codicil, I believe.
Anyway, here's what I am bringing with me to pass some time. It just came out.
I've long been interested in the disconnect between Rockwell's image and the decidedly not-sunny reality of his life. And I have been reading Deborah Solomon in The New York Times for ages. So I'm looking forward to her book.
“Beware of your fellow potential jurors,” wrote a Slice reader.
She told about being in the initial waiting room and getting up to get some coffee. When she got back to her seat a few moments later, the book she had been reading was gone.
I'll bet someone, at some point, has written that on the form Spokane County sends potential jurors in response to the question about membership in organizations or associations.