Here Comes the Judge: Jury Duty!

28 04 2010

Today I sit in the jury room at the Multnomah County Circuit Court. I dread the thought of being picked to sit on some long trial! The judge came in, and a couple of lawyers, and they gave us their talk about civic duty and the justice system.

Citizens' lives in limbo...

Sounds like the ‘collective brain’ of a jury is a really good way to come to a decision. The speakers said that in some countries the “chief justices” said the jury system is inefficient. But no matter. Other countries are studying how we do things and they’re trying to duplicate what we do here.

One thing I don’t understand is the ‘random’ system for picking jurors. I’ve been sent jury duty notices three times since 2000. This time I got out of the first notice (December) but I have to come this time. I know it’s good for the judicial system, but it’s totally inconvenient. I’m trying to figure out the job scene and this just isn’t a good time for jury duty!

Passing time...all in this together!

So we sit. And sit. And sit. One group got called this morning, a small group.

Then before lunch, they made a big cut. They called about 30 people INCLUDING ME, and told everyone else to go home! Drat drat drat.

In the meantime, we sit. And sit. Some read. Some watch TV. Many sleep, and some play board games like scrabble. It’s fairly quiet in the jury room – so I can actually get some work done!



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