Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#1402 jury duty

This morning I was getting ready for work and I realized that I hadn't called about jury duty last night. I hurried and called and it's a good thing I did because I had to go to the court this morning! I was excited about the prospect of serving on a jury. I've never done it before and I was interested to see if reality was like TV.

I reported to the Third District Court. The building was really nice. It's not in downtown SLC. This is out in West Jordan.

I went to the jury waiting room and sat with the other potential jurors. I think there were about 15 of us or so, but there were many that didn't show up. The clerk said that those people would be contacted and they would have to appear before the judge to explain why they didn't show up for jury duty. You can be held in contempt of court and put in jail or fined, you know. Whew! I so glad I remembered to call!

We watched a video that explained the whole process and then the bailiff and the court clerk came to take us to the courtroom. We were lined up in a specific order and seated in that order as well. When we entered the courtroom, everyone stood up. There were several spectators, I guess, two attorneys for the state, the defense attorney and the defendant. There was also the judge, the clerk and the bailiff.

The judge explained what was going to happen and a tiny bit about the case (criminal - domestic violence). Each potential juror then stood and introduced ourselves to the court. There was a script. We said our name, our job, our marital status and our spouse info, whether we had children, our education, our source of news, what magazines we read and what we like to do in free time.

After that, the judge asked several questions about whether anyone had anything that would prevent them from hearing the case. The trial was going to last the day and maybe into the next day. After that, three jurors were excused for cause. One of them had a close family member who had been involved in a domestic violence case, another had a sick child and a big paper due at school, the third had a job interview. Those three left and then the lawyers passed a list back and forth until they had agreed on six jurors.

The paper was given to the judge and he told us if he read our name, we were to stand up and remain standing. I was the fourth person in the row. The first lady's name was called. Then the second, the third and then the fifth. They skipped me! I wasn't worthy! I didn't make the cut!

I am very sorry to say that I was not among the six chosen to hear the case. I really wanted to! I mean I was there and I think I would have been an excellent juror. What I noticed about the people that were  excused along with me was that we were all college grads or students at the University of Utah.

I'm not even kidding. I was disappointed not to be chosen. I pouted a little when I got to my car. Oh well, maybe another time.

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