I returned to jury duty at the Lawrence County Court house this morning at 9:15 AM. On my way in I was able to apologize to the lady I was kind of short with yesterday. She was very kind and said no apology was necessary, but I thought I owed her one anyway. She explained that once you are summoned to jury duty, there is no limit to how often they can call you, unless you sit on a jury. In my humble opinion that is nonsense, my family situation is what it is, and cannot change.
I went in with laptop in bag hoping to get some work done. I still could not get on the Internet. The courthouse system blocked me and wanted to download some sort of anti-virus software. Yeah…right Sporto, “That ain’t happenin'” For goodness sakes, I have a Macbook…but I digress yet again.
I was able to type a good bit of my Literature Review for grad school and work on an Easiteach file for Econ. I used the Google Form feedback from my students to find areas that needed addressed. So my day was not a total waste.
About 10:30ish the gentleman in charge of telling the prospective jurors what was going on came in. He let us know that the case we were to possibly sit on had reach a plea agreement. Sounded good, however the county changed the rules and did not release us as they had originally planned. They were trying to organize another case and would need us to stay longer. Very dirty pool in my book.
Around 11 AM we were told that we could leave for lunch. No pizza today, the roads were passable. I was going to stay and continue working on my grad work, until I realized that we were getting TWO HOURS for lunch! What a waste of our time. On the way out, we ran into the jurors from the case we were not chosen for. The defendant accepted a plea agreement right before the trial was to start. They were done. I drove home and shoveled my driveway yet again. I was able to get some work accomplished because I have Internet access there.
Upon my return to the courthouse at 1:15 PM, I sat and talked with a number of jurors, none were too pleased with the rule change by the county. Most of us had been thrown off the previous case jury because of knowing family members who were either victims or law enforcement officials. All were in agreement that we were not a very fair jury pool for a defendant.
About 2:15 we were summoned to the jury waiting room and were told we could leave, the last case had reached a plea agreement. The District Attorney, Josh Lamancusa, came in and thanked us for our service. Once again, we had no choice, so no thanks were necessary. I commented that is was a good thing because, “Only a moron of a defendant would want to pick a jury on a Thursday Afternoon and tie everyone up for another week. Like they would even get a fair trial.”
The District Attorney laughed, he must have thought I was joking. In all seriousness, I do not believe there was a fair trial to be had, there were few people who were happy to be there and most were unhappy with the change in rules by the county. Many of us were repeat potential jurors and knew of many who never were summoned.
Overall, they showed us a video on jury duty, which played patriotic music, quoted Thomas Jefferson, then held us longer than necessary. So much for my civic duty, but I did gain a teachable moment from the entire ordeal, but that is another post.