Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Postcards From The Jury Room

Today I have Jury Duty, but right now I am home for lunch. I wrote the following ramblings from the jury room. I'll update this evening when I return again...

I’m writing this in the Jury Room of the Inglewood courthouse today, trying not to be bored out of my mind. Luckily, they have a new policy for those of us who have been chosen to serve Jury Duty. It’s called “One day, one trial.” What that means is if I sit here all day and do not get put on a jury, then my obligation is over for the next year or so. This new system makes it easier for us potential jurors to “do our time” and get home. Because it is more convenient, it also means that it’s almost impossible to be excused from service. The only persons who are not eligible ate active law enforcement officers—everyone else is fair game. The judge who gave us our “welcome speech” gave us several examples of people who tried—and failed—to be excused. The list included doctors, lawyers, a prominent Cardinal and the Judge himself. They have also changed the method of sunpoening potential jurors. Until recently, the courts only used voter registration to find people, so if you didn’t vote, they couldn’t find you. Now they also use DMV records, so if you haven’t been called…expect to be soon! At least if you live in Los Angeles.

I’ve been called 3 or 4 times in the past decade. I have yet to be put on an actual jury. Because I’m swamped with work and have child-care issues, I hope to make it through the day without being selected. Otherwise, if my schedule were more free, I actually wouldn’t mind sitting on a jury for once. Just to see how the system works. Guess we’ll see how the day pans out.

Meanwhile, I’m pleased to report that I got a bunch done over the holiday weekend. Good progress on Battle of the Bands, though I am still behind schedule. I hope I can catch up soon to where I’m supposed to be. The book should be done by April.

The worst part about sitting here in the Jury Room (so far!) is that the television is on. There is some Oprah-like show on. I’ve positioned myself so I don’t have to look at the screen, but the noise is driving me crazy. Is this really necessary? Can’t people just read?

I have my laptop, but forgot a book. Guess I’ll try to get some work done. I should have brought some DVDs and headphones. Must remember that next time!

The man across from me is snoring. Maybe I should have brought a pillow.

More later...


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