Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jury Duty

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.


Luke Cage said...

I haven't served here in Va, but the last time I served was on a criminal murder case in Brooklyn. We found the guy guilty and I remember feeling very somber once the case was over.

Another brotha, murdered anotha for no reason other than to keep it real. What a senseless crime that was. And he deserved to be sent away, but it didn't make me feel good when we read the verdict.

We all didn't even come to the same conclusion right away either. It took a few days. But no wireless in a courthouse??? Geez. I'm sure it must be different in Prince Williams county though. I just hope when I'm picked it's a juicy case.

I've served on 1 criminal case and 1 civil case where we rewarded a woman $3million for negligence from a supermarket for not wiping away a ice patch and she messed up her knee. She was a archaelogist and can no longer go on any digs, thus her income was cut drastically. Anyway.. enuff of that luv..

AG said...

Though, I've never been selected for jury duty.. Actually, I was lucky to avoid it for many years whilst in the military.

However, I was recently summoned and really enjoyed waiting for a couple hours to be called upstairs and then waiting again in the courtroom, so that would _not_ pick me. Then I got this lovely $3.50 check from the city for troubles. Gotta love that civic duty stuff ;)

Aziza said...

Frankly, I don't like serving jury duty at all, because of all the security at the courthouse, which suggests to me that it's dangerous over there. Plus, I don't want to serve on any criminal cases that may give me nightmares. But all in all, I've been called up two times, and was bored out of my mind waiting for my number to be called. At one point, the courthouse had the b.omb sniffing dog doing dog tricks to keep us potential jurors entertained. Jumping. Rolling over. I was ready to go home and call it a day.

But I have an idea. Instead of them summoning all of us who vote, they should make all the folks who don't vote serve jury duty.

kob said...

Great post. Most people get called every two years like clock work. And they can do a lot more to make the experience just a little easier. ..

Darth Bush said...

Jury duty is a tactic of the dark side, a method of holding you back, frustrating you, making you feel your anger. Come join us, come to the dark side!

LOL: Still, feel your pain. Good luck, hope it wraps up soon.

Hostess said...

So they think you're an upstanding citizen huh?? Upstanding enough to be a juror?? Do they allow Blackberries in the court? Because if you had one of those, you would have been able to feed your innanets addiction AND serve.

Nikki said...

I talked myself out of jury duty the last time I got summoned.

CreoleInDC said...

I've been summoned three times. I never served. My views are too drastic. Who knew? LOL!