Monday, April 25, 2011

This Court IS Out of Order!

After hearing more than fifty cases in the past two months, all I can think of are the words "free at last...free at last" when my service on jury duty comes to an end tomorrow. Those words don't seem quite fair to the work I've been doing as freedom is what each of those people are striving for. But serving on grand jury, listening to case after case of robbery, drug possession, murder - only to decide if there is enough evidence to send it on to trial - has completely worn me down. Grand jury is a very different animal in that 23 people sit and listen to case after case in a day to see if there is enough evidence to indict. I understand it is my duty as a citizen and it is an integral part of the judicial system, but requesting people to serve for that long turned my life upside down. 


You start out really in to what you are learning (as we've all watched law shows and think we are one step away from trying a case ourselves), but by week three and four...it sound as if you are on repeat. It is amazing to think about the amount of work that goes into gathering evidence just to go to trial. And I am very appreciative of our law enforcement officers who are out there fighting crime on a daily basis. I just couldn't believe how much it affected my job and home life to change your schedule for two days a week for two months. Plus, the planning they do each day (if we want to call it planning) is not something that would ever fly in most jobs. They call you in at 9:00 am - you see the list of cases, but they decide to start whenever they want. Plus, some days the cases can fly by and they give you a huge break for lunch, but tell you that you must return in the afternoon (rather than plan out more in the morning sessions.) 


But as I stated - I am nearing 'freedom' for at least the next three years until I receive another summons in the mail. And who knows: perhaps my next novel will now be a crime story with all my new found knowledge.

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