ok, so i have WANTED, yes WANTED to get called for jury duty for some time now. the only summons i ever got was when i was 8 months pregnant with my son and so i could not do it. everyone i know that ever got one hated that they got one. i hated that people that hated to get one always ended up being the ones that got one! (follow that?) i agree with my mom, they should allow you to sign up to be on juries and pull only from them! lol so anyway, the day came, i got my letter! i was so excited. my husband kept making fun of me, even though he knew i WANTED to go. which on a side note, i thought it hysterical when a few weeks later he got his own summons! haha!
so i looked forward to the day i would get to start calling to see if i got picked. i called the night before. my group number was 14, they called for groups 1-12! darn it! then i realized i was on hold the entire week, not being able to plan things "in case" i was called. well that part stunk! so monday night, i called, my group was called! yes!!! however, they were calling for a horrendous rainstorm that next morning. i knew chris was not anxious to drive me down during rush hour to begin with (cuz i do NOT drive downtown, i am way too chicken) but if he had to do it in a rainstorm i was sure he would not be happy. luckily the rain held off until after i was down there.
now i am grateful that he drove me down, however he was ready to drop me off at a big building he THOUGHT was the right one, while it was still dark and me not knowing where anything downtown was! so much for a caring protective husband! lol
ok, fastforward past the nervous the night before, getting up earlier than i have all year blah blah! i go into the building, nervous to even go through the metal detector, was i going to have some item that was totally innocent to me that they would deem terrorist worthy (again see why i don't like to go downtown). where was i to go after i went through the metal detectors? luckily they told me, second floor. i could either take the stairs which i could see or take the elevator, which i had no idea where it was. i took the stairs. fast forward to the assembly room. i sat next to an older lady named judy. we got to talking, i really hoped we would be in the same group. i liked judy alot, judy had the same voters guide in her purse that she got from her church as i did! we got along great!!! judy had been summonsed before but never made it onto a jury. judy told me about how mean they could be to possible jurors who did things like bring their preschoolers with them because their wife had recently died and had no one to watch the kids! if they can be mean to a man like that, what were they going to do to me!? i was begining to see why people didn't want to go to jury duty and i realllly didn't want to loose judy! they had 3 courts needing jurors that day so they seperated us all into 3 groups. judy, was not in my group.
my group finally got called to the court room. 12 of us were called into the juror seats while the rest had to sit out in the audience. we were greeted, very friendly, we were told what the case would be (i was sooo hoping for a good robbery or murder where i would have great satisfaction in saying "GUILTY! and putting them away! Dirty criminals!!!" ) the case was an ex girlfriend that keyed her ex's Ford 150.......can you hear the air come out of my balloon?! "WHY was this even being brought before a JURY!!! why couldn't a single judge resolve this case? judge judy does it alllll the time! but.....it is what it is.....
so they started the voir dire, which basically is them questioning (or drilling, depending on whose doing the describing) of the prospective jurors. now this was the last part i was really nervous about. were they going to discover some deep dark secret about myself that even I didn't know about, by asking me certain questions and tricking me into divulging something super secret? yes i can be a bit dramatic when i envision things. turns out they ask pretty simple questions, but evidently some people also worry they are trying to trick us in those questions and make the answers more complicated than need be! "Mr. Whosit, if i tell you the crime is vandalism of a vehicle, do you need to know when the last time the parking lot was paved?" Mr. Whosit's reply, "well, it depends on what kind of damage was done to the vehicle" "OK. let me put this another way, do you need to know if the car next to it, had grass on it's tires?" Mr. Whosit: "Depends on if the damage could have been caused by the mower kicking rocks up on the vehicle"...... Mr. Whosit was dismissed from being on the jury. so you would think we would all understand the route they were going, they were asking simple questions and wanted simple answers. "Ms. previously served on a jury, would you say the flag behind the judge is an American flag?" Ms. PSJ: " i believe so" "And how do you know it is the American flag?" Ms. PSJ: " because it looks like it is", " and do you need to examine it and count all the stars on it to know it's the American flag?" Ms.PSJ :"yes i would need to count each star and make sure it was".........."Mrs. Toth, do you think that is the American flag?" "yes", "why do you think it is? ", "because we are in america, because this is a courtroom, because it makes sense to be and it appears to be" , " do you need proof that it is the american flag?" "no, i feel sure it is". Mrs. Toth made it on the jury! :-)
quick note here to say, right before we could start, we were moved into a small hallway because we were under a tornado warning, i was so bummed i could not be home watching this awesome storm!!
ok, let me just say, i was sure from the begining this lady probably keyed the truck, i was just waiting for the prosecution (who looked like they just stepped out of high school btw) to wow me with their overwhelming evidence. they had 2 witnesses, the defense had none, the defense was not even going to get on the stand herself. let me tell you, i don't know if this was the prosecution's first case or if this was a "learning courtroom" or what, but they did NOT do a good job. their first witness......not very credible. i think he was confused as to where he even was. at one point, he answered the question "how do you know it was that lady here in the courtroom" (which btw, the second prosecution lawyer had to be reminded to even ask him to point out if the guilty party was in the courtroom) the man replied "cuz she had long hair! she had long hair then and she has long hair now! " that was the only way he could identify her. plus, i am not being ugly or sarcastic when i say, i think he really was very mentally slow and did not understand even simple questions. i have NO idea why he was put on the stand. the 2 witnesses probably lost their case for them cuz they provided us with more inconsistencies and more questions that ultimately gave us more and more reasonable doubt.
fast forward again to the deliberation. we get back in the room. now i took exactly 2 lines of notes, there really wasn't that much to write down, it was a pretty simple case. however Ms. PSJ took 3 long pages of notes. as did some of the other jurors. i really had no idea what you could have written down, but i was soon to find out. we sat down and i said "can i just throw out there, i think there is so much reasonable doubt, i don't think we can find this lady guilty". EVERYONE wholeheartedly agreed.....yet.....we had to spend the next HOUR going over how many feet there actually was from the first witness (who was described above that everyone decided right away was not even credible) and the lady keying the truck, and over every piece of their notes that they took. i guess so they did not feel like they took those notes in vain! all's i could say is, "it's an american flag, can we sign the paper and go home?!" now i would not have been like that if there was anyone who honestly had a question about whether there was enough evidince or not, but we all agreed right away that there was NOT! so whyyyyyy did they want to draw this stupid thing out. it was THEN i realized why no one wants to go on jury duty.....not for the fools they have to sit in judgement on, but rather the fools they have to deliberate WITH!!!
at any rate, i really enjoyed my overall experience, everyone that worked there was super friendly and did everything they could, to make us comfortable and happy (maybe judy never got that far and did not get to experience that part, and i hate that i have to wait 2 yrs before they can call me again!
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