March 21st, 2011

radioactive panda

Jury Duty

So I had jury duty today. Woooo.

I don't object to jury duty itself. I recognize the importance of participating in the system, and my jurisdiction does a pretty good job of making you feel appreciated for stepping up and doing your part.

What I object to is getting up an hour and a half early and driving way the hell out to the middle of nowhere to sit through a bunch of instruction and questioning when I know that there is almost zero chance that I would ever get past a peremptory challenge and actually serve on a jury. (And today I was the last one on the list of 20 for a jury of 6, so I didn't even get to make one of the laywers use up some voir dire on me.)

I mean, I guess showing up and being theoretically available is still participating. But it doesn't really feel like participating, it feels mostly like bureaucracy and it makes me grumbly and cynical. Bah.

Looking for the sunny side, though, (as that is my nature), the courthouse has free wifi, and I learned that circumstantial evidence carries just as much weight as direct testimony, which I had not known. And it was interesting to see how much detail about the case you can deduce from the questions they ask the prospective jurors.

Plus, I guessed 5 out of 6 of the peremptory challenges correctly, and one juror totally pinged my gaydar and then played the pronoun game when talking about a conflict with his ex. So that was interesting, at least.