Tuesday, October 11, 2016

To Speak The Truth

I honestly do not remember when it was that I was last summoned to appear for jury duty. However,  I do know that I served twice in my lifetime...once for a criminal case and once for a civil case. In fact, I was elected foreman for the criminal case and it was an experience that I will never forget.  Trust me, there is nothing pleasant about having to look someone in the eye and tell them "we, the jury, find you guilty of..."

Anyway...

Fast forward to the busy weeks of September and guess what I got in the mail? Yep. A summons to appear for jury duty. Knowing it is my civic duty, my obligation, my responsibility to serve, I, like a good citizen, completed the necessary paperwork and dropped it in the mail the following day. And, as instructed, calling the information line the night before I was scheduled to appear, I took a very deep breath when I heard, "All jurors are scheduled to appear."

Arriving a tad early, I entered the courthouse and was, like everyone else, greeted by the scanner and several State Police officers, who instructed me to place keys and cell phone "here" and "handbag on the scanner belt", anything metal had to be removed. Then, once told what room to go to and instructed as to what elevator to use, I was on my way.
It felt like the 80's all over again.

Skimming the crowd quickly as I entered the waiting room, I thought, "Wow...there are a lot of people here already," making my way to the sign in desk. After the Judge came in and explained the selection process to us, we waited for what seemed to be an eternity, although it really wasn't.

Then, a dark haired woman appeared and told us to follow her quickly and quietly down to the courtroom. Filing in like grade school children, we quickly filled several rows of the courtroom. Total silence filled the room as the Judge began to speak, explaining that if we knew any individuals in the courtroom, their affiliates or any of the individuals on the proposed witness list, had scheduling conflicts, medical issues, we should not speak but simply raise our hand.  Reluctantly but honestly, I raised my right hand along with several other individuals.

We (those that raised their hands) were then ushered into a smaller room at the front of the courtroom to sit and wait until we were called at random.  It was then that we would explain to the prosecution and the defense attorneys why we asked to be excused.  The Judge would make the decision.


Thanks to an understanding and compassionate Judge, I was excused, along with about ten other individuals. The remaining thirty+ individuals, after being questioned by both the prosecution and the defense attorneys in the presence of the Judge...something known as "voir dire", which means "to speak the truth," would remain as jurors.

Yes, I consider myself fortunate to have been excused from this trial.  For reasons that I cannot share other than it was a criminal case I had read about in the paper.

Have YOU ever served as a juror?


just seeing, saying and sharing...

To Speak The Truth

with you and those at



7 comments:

only slightly confused said...

Neither I or my hubs have been called for Jury duty. Thank goodness. I would if required but it would not be happy. The hubs would be excused for certain sure because of his hearing.

Ann said...

I get a jury summons in the mail almost every single year. I don't understand why I get them so often since it's supposed to be totally random. Some years I go and sit, some years my number doesn't have to go and just once I was picked to serve on a jury. I can't remember exactly what the defendant was accused of doing but I do know we found him guilty

Sandra said...

only once, and I was picked to be on the jury, he was guilty as sin and I enjoyed doing it. but when I got the summons last year I chose to use my opt out for any one 70 and older can opt out. I did that because I can't sit very long and I potty at least once and hour...

NanaDiana said...

I have never been called for jury duty-but I have been in a trial situation where I said in the courtroom to witness what was going on first hand. A whole week's worth of testimony with a 'not guilty' handed down by the jury at the end of it.

Glad you were able to be excused. xo Diana

NanaDiana said...

I have never been called for jury duty-but I have been in a trial situation where I said in the courtroom to witness what was going on first hand. A whole week's worth of testimony with a 'not guilty' handed down by the jury at the end of it.

Glad you were able to be excused. xo Diana

Florida Farm Girl said...

I am so glad to see you posting again. I was getting worried!! Glad you've just been busy.

Rambling Woods said...

I had to be excused as I had recently had surgery when I was called JP... Michelle

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