Justice. Compassion. Jury Duty

For the first time ever, I got called into jury duty on Tuesday.

I reported to the courthouse armed with my journal and a book, ready to take advantage of any downtime. After we watched a fun filled video about how awesome it is to be a juror, we were told that we would know what group we were in at 9:30am. 9:30 came and went. Then it became 10. 10:30. Finally, the lady announced that the first group could go home while the second group will be breaking for lunch and then will have to come back at 1:30. Problem: I was in the second group.

And that is, how, hours later I found myself in a court room with 38 other people, trying to think of some way to get out of becoming a juror. The judge first asked the potential jurors as a whole questions that could automatically disqualify us from taking part in a jury. He asked if any of us were bigots. Then, he asked if any of us had been felons who had yet to receive our rights back. One lady raised her hand and the judge excused her.

For about half a second, I considered proclaiming that I, too, was a felon but I opted not to make something like that up (yes, I understand that thinking about it for half a second was half a second too long).

After that, those of us who had excuses that we wanted to run past the judge were told to explain away. Alas, he didn’t consider my excuses as hardships. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t picked for the jury anyway.

So that was that.

I did learn some important stuff though. For one, the Oakland court house has a snack bar and even though they offer mochas on the menu, it probably isn’t wise to order one while there is only one person working, a long line of people are waiting after you, and everyone has to get back to the jury assembly room in five minutes. So you see, not a total waste of day.

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