I was summoned for Jury Duty sometime in August and postponed it for last Thursday. I figured the scenario would be the same as the last time I was “summoned”. I’d go down and they’d dismiss me in time for Oprah. I guess my juror number came up because I was the first person called and I was picked for to be the juror on a criminal case. Maybe I should play my juror number, who knows I might win a few dollars or a few million. Either way I learned a few things on Jury Duty, one of them is that the D.C. Courts need to revamp its system. The second is that even though I haven’t ridden a DC bus in years, toothless people and folks with jaundice still ride the bus. Clearly they haven’t given their liver a rest in ages. The courthouse is full of unsavory looking characters who smoke New Ports, and talk about their probation issues and getting clean before the urine test.
First it’s enough that you have to get there all “early 8AM” and shyt but there are NO snacks and they don’t give you bottled water. They have a few dial up lines in the business lounge but no wireless internet anywhere in the court house. I was a bit flabbergasted, are we not at the end of 2006? This seemed unacceptable, and I’m sending Fenty an email. I’ve heard that jurors in other cities are at least given a few basic necessities.
I knew the actual trial wasn’t going to be anything like it is on Law & Order or other TV shows but I was really disappointed by how slow the attorneys were. I felt like objecting a few times when the defense attorney kept repeating the same question, 10 different ways. More then 3 minutes of silence while you read your notes seems a bit much. I think both attorneys spent more time doing bench conferences with the judge then they did actually questioning witnesses or giving their opening statements. I can’t imagine having the task of prosecuting someone for a crime or defending them and my performance or lack there of, having a major outcome in their lives.
I did have a great time trying to figure out during the bench conferences what celebrities folks looked like and have decided that the prosecutor has a Pinocchio Nose, the first Detective to testify looked like a female Jaime Foxx and the Marshall assigned to the courtroom had a Steve Harvey hair cut.
Although I wasn’t happy getting picked, I did experience something new and did my civic duty.