Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I sat on a Grand Jury

on January 7, 2014

About a year ago, a friend of mine got jury duty.  Grand jury duty to be exact.  I asked a few questions about the experience and before I knew it, I was volunteering.

I love jury duty.  I know, not the usual groaned response other’s have.

I’ve only served once before, many moons ago and at the federal level.  When I received my notice about that service, I read the information from top to bottom…including all the fine print.  It mentioned the possibility of being sequestered so the first day I reported, I had a packed suitcase in my car, just in case.  Unfortunately, we only heard one side of the case and they settled half way through.  I didn’t even get the chance to wield the force of justice!

Since then, I have always said I would volunteer if given the chance.

And I did.

The jury noticed said to report at 9:30 am.  I always allow for extra incidents in my time planning.  You never know, traffic may be backed up, car trouble, a stray dog needs needs a ride (this happens to me more than you know!) so I left the house at 8:30 am.  I arrived at the courts at 8:45 am…just in time!

Let me just tell ya, jurors get excellent parking!  I mean, just open your car door and you are at the steps of the court house.  I could have easily shaved 5 minutes off my time planning if I had realized!

I checked in at the desk and was told I’m the newb of the group.  Awesome : )  The judge usually picks the newbs to serve as Jury Foremen.  Super Awesome!

I helped myself to some free coffee and sat down in the Jury Assembly room.  Of course, I brought a small craft to keep me occupied but I always scope out the scene before I whip it out.  I have knitted in some odd spots…Josh Groban concert, restaurants (while waiting for peeps…not while eating), etc…the sauna room at the gym probably wins the prize…and I probably would still do so but those bamboo needles get too hot to handle!

So, to blend in, I thought best to grab a magazine and feel the group out.  There were only 4 other people in the room…3 older gentlemen and 1 lady.  I perused the available reading and found a catalog I had never seen before: Knit Picks.  Well, if I wasn’t going to craft, I’ll just dream shop about crafting! : )

That lasted about 5 minutes.  Oh heck, I’m just gonna go for it!  So, I break out my tatting shuttle and thread and go to town.

An hour passed and the coordinator gathered us into the Jury Deliberation room.  We waited there for just a little while and then were directed into the court room.

The judge swore us in and explained what we were there to do.  We had several cases to review and were to determine if there was enough reasonable doubt for the case to continue to a higher court.  Sounds easy.  Then he selected me as the foreperson and explained as such, I would sign off on all the cases.

Cool…I think…

We reconvened in the Jury Deliberation room and read through all the cases.  We voted on each one and I signed beside our decision….160 times.  Luckily, the officer of the court said they do not expect my signature to look the same from the first to the last…uh, good thing because by the end of it I no longer cared about all the letters in my name…I just scribbled lines and twirls to look like my signature and regretted my choice to hyphenate my last name!20140108_160014 (2)

After all were heard, we reconvened in the court room, presented our findings/paperwork to the court and then were dismissed.

They said we had an easy day…usually there are 200-400 cases to hear.  Lucky me and my poor hand!

Overall, I loved serving…I would SO do it again, even if I were to be the foreperson again…

I just need time to legally change my name to x. : )

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