Well, I’ve had an interesting week to say the least. Last Thursday afternoon I was summoned for jury duty. I actually had to go in which is unusual to begin with. Usually I look on the website the night before and it says that I am excused. Not this time.
So I get to the courthouse and the parking for the jury is different than the last time I had been called (2006!) but there was plenty of room so that was not a problem. I parked, walked to the courthouse, through the metal detectors and down to the jury assembly room. I’m early and just waiting in line with a few other people and I overhear a conversation from a gentleman saying, “And I don’t get all this gender thing. If they tell me there is more than two, a man and a woman, I’m …” I can’t remember the rest exactly but clearly he had some issues with the gender identity changes. I decided to remove myself from the situation and went and got some water from the cafeteria. LOL.
Once it was time, the assembly room opened and there was about 100 of us waiting to see if they would call us. I didn’t have to wait long. They sent me and about 70 others up to courtroom 2K. We waited in the hallway until the bailiff opened the door and told us to find seats. He said he knew there were not enough chairs but that once the first 12 folks plus 6 alternates had been called, there would be seats open. It didn’t take long for me to be called…I was juror #10.
The judge told us that the case was about driving under the influence and said that it would take about 3 days for the attorneys to present the evidence and then for us to decide the case. She asked if anyone had hardships that would prevent them from staying on the jury for 4 to 5 days. There were about 4 or 5 people in that first 18 that said they couldn’t stay for one reason or another and as each one left, they pulled someone else up from the people waiting in the room. Finally all the hardships were taken care of and then they gave us a list of questions to answer. Most of them were simple, name, city we lived in, how many adults lived in our house, how many kids we had, ages and occupations, whether we had connections to law enforcement or if we knew anyone convicted of a crime or a victim of a crime or if we thought we could be impartial.
Based on our answers to those questions more people were excused and more brought up from the waiting area. Each time they brought up someone new they had to go through the hardship question and then the list of questions. Next the two attorneys started asking us questions about what we thought about different scenarios, if we had ever seen anyone drink too much, if they had to be falling down in our opinion to be considered too intoxicated to drive. After both attorneys were finished, they started excusing some of us for reasons they didn’t explain but I could guess by the answers of the jurors and the type of case it was. It got down to the 12 jurors and 2 alternates. Interestingly, one of the alternates was the father of a boy my daughter went to school with. I was still juror #10. The attorneys both gave their opening arguments. That process had taken two days so they let us go for the weekend.
Friday night my hubby and I went to see The Four Tops and the Temptations at the Mountain Winery. I had not eaten all day while at the courthouse and had several drinks so I was too intoxicated to drive home and, ashamed to say, actually threw up out the car window. First time I have done that since I was in my 20s I’ll bet and ironic that I was about to listen to a case regarding driving while under the influence.
Saturday the kids and I went to a Giants game. I had one Vizzy (hard seltzer) and then drank water – LOL. They were celebrating the 2012 World Series Team and we were in the 415 section and actually made it on TV! You can see me above the V in Visa. I have my arm raised because I am taking the picture! The Giants won – YAY! We take the train to and from the game so driving and drinking is not a factor here – haha.
I think I’ll stop for now and we’ll get to part 2 tomorrow. Are you intrigued? Ever served on a jury before? What was your case about?