😩Jury Duty Part II: The Day of Reckoning

The whole plan of getting a good night’s rest failed miserably. I found myself up after midnight, once more, the difference being that my alarm should wake me before six the next morning. I struggle with anxiety especially when anticipating unknown circumstances. I woke several times to check if my alarm was set or if I had possibly overslept.

How strange it felt waking up in the wee hours of the morning with my husband laying peacefully in bed. Thankful that I had set everything out the night before I quickly showered, dressed and gave my husband the goodbye kiss that he usually gives me every weekday morning.

My trusty GPS took me directly to the lot where the jurors had been told to park and meet a shuttlebus. Let the waiting begin. First we waited several minutes for the shuttlebus. Once we arrived we waited outside for the courthouse to open. After passing through security we headed upstairs to wait some more.

Chairs filled this room as if reporters intended on filling them for a press conference. At first there were maybe fifty jurors but in the next hour the total went into the hundreds. Hundreds of people without names and all with unfamiliar faces. People all coerced to wait for the next court ordered direction.

The TVs in every corner all broadcasted CNN. I tried to ignore them to no avaiI. Thankfully I made a new friend named Monika. A hip grandmother and retired school teacher, Monika would help me pass the drudgery of wait. She seemed amused by my anecdotes of six kids and homeschooling. She looked amazed as I commentated my opinions of the CNN stories.

We listened to an orientation and watched a video. Within an hour or so of our arrival we were given laminated cards with special colors and numbers. My hopes peaked that I received a card in the first group. Surely My seat in the courtroom promised itself in the near future. Another two and a half hours passed before we finally heard our color and numbers called. I found myself in a single file line walking down hallways I had only before seen in the movies.

At one point a man with a badge approached me and asked me for my number. I fumbled around to retrieve the laminated card out of my bag. He then sternly rebuked me by telling me to have my number available at all times and walked away. Ouch! I felt like a troublemaker whose teacher had threatened no recess.

Once we finally reached the courtroom we all were seated sequentially. The judge explained procedures to us. He told us a limited amount about the case. Then he proceeded to ask us questions that we were to stand up and answer as they pertained to us. Some answers of the most personal nature gave way to approaching the judge with an attorney on either side of you and white noise playing to keep the verbal exchange private.

During one of these private interactions, that made me feel quite humbled, the judge scratched me off the potential juror list. I would be going home as soon as the jury had been selected.

No more worries of being kept away from my little ones for an extended period of time. My obligation as a citizen had been fulfilled. I had been promised three years before my next jury duty. 😀🎉

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