Everyone was wrong.
Note to self, never give advice on something like jury duty because you have no idea how it will go.
According to my husband I was "living his dream!".
I got a notice in Nov that I would be on call for Jury Duty for the whole month of Dec. No big deal right? Dec is when everyone takes vacation and this year I was the one that couldn't take vacation as I had to cover for everyone. But according to everyone, I wouldn't have to worry as I would never get picked. I went in on Dec 10 and was the second name picked. Due to a snow storm that was coming in, the judge was kind enough to wait a few days to start the trial. I ended up having 4 full days in court taking notes, listening to witnesses and the plaintiff, listening to opening/closing statements/ and receiving instructions from the judge. We then had 2 full days of deliberation.
During the trial it was very interesting to see how our whole justice system works. I was the one in the jury box! I was the one (along with 11 others) that the lawyers were trying to convince that their position was right. During the trial the 12 of us were not allowed to talk about the trial and what we thought. We couldn't talk to anyone about it.
Then delberation started. Can you think of anything more stressful than trying to get 12 people, who have never met, to try to agree on a just verdict? I would come home feeling stressed and worried and would ask Jason if we could just watch something mind numbing so I could try to sleep that night. When we were in deliberation, the 12 of us were never allowed out of our group. We had an officer with us at all times. The only time we were let out of a very small room was to go eat, and we had to eat together!
After the first full day of deliberation, I called home and told dad that there was no way we'd all come to an agreement the next day. We spent a few hours on Wed, and then all of Thursday arguing/talking and no one's view had changed. I told dad we'd need a miracle for us to come to an agreement on Friday and he said "well.. they do happen you know". My parents were praying and I had asked Jason to pray. Friday morning showed that a miracle was indeed taking place! We all finally agreed on a verdict and by 2 or 3 pm we were done!
The worst part of jury duty: the drive into Downtown Minneapolis in rush hour, getting home an hour later than normal, the deliberation, and feeling bad that a co-worker had to put her vacation on hold till I got back.
The best part of jury duty: seeing how the whole justice process works, meeting interesting people, hearing people's ridiculous reasons for why they couldn't serve, and talking with the judge in her chambers for over 30 mins after the trial was all over! I am proudly displaying my signed certificate from the judge at home!
This post is way too long for such a boring blog post. But I'll end it with some entertainment. The reasons why people couldn't serve on the jury (these are in no particular order):
~ bladder control issues (oh boy..)
~ A.D.D. (and I quote "my mind wonders when I'm bored" ... okay.. whose doesn't?!)
~ "I'm Mennonite so I'm religiously opposed to being on a jury" (Wha?! Could I have used this?)
~ After the judge had already asked for any medical reasons why one couldn't serve, we were getting to the end and this lady started to panic and said "I can't do this I can't do this" to us in the jury box and then suddenly seemed to remember "I have a back problem that requires me to walk around for 20 mins every hour." (okay.. )
At the moment that's all I can remember. There were many many more. The judge was pretty kind to let some of these people off.