Jury Duty

This week I had the privilege of serving as a jury member. I took a small notebook with me and recorded my thoughts through both days, as time allowed1. Below you will find a copy of those notes I took to read or ignore as you choose. No real attempt has been made to make the notes any better than they were originally written.


Slept poorly, slow to awaken.
Rush to courthouse for jury duty. Hallways packed and warm.
Waited in courtroom in chairs of oak & iron. Old, lovely and totally uncomfortable.
Surrounded by young pups to old farts. By ladies of brown hair to blue.

Ate a granola bar on the drive in, carrying a second one in my pocket.
Drank some tea, but left bottle in the car.
Still we wait…

Hats removed from heads upon request. People go quiet.
A sense of beginning flows over the room. But is lost as the court assistant leaves.
A man, looking grumpy, leaves for second time. A cellphone rings when it should be turned off.
The doors close and the murmuring gets louder. People start to quiet again.
Expectation, boredom, sleepiness & muffled laughter sweep the room.
And still we wait…

I look around the room and wonder what kind of person would have all these people as their peers?
What could they be accused of?
And still we wait…

Housekeeping is done.
To clerk of court must report to get proof of attendance.
Educational video is watched.
The video’s attempts at humor failed.
Brains leaked from ears as video bored us to tears.
Some slackers walked in late.
And still we wait…

The video completed.
A break was announced.
And still we wait…

Break concluded.
Lawyers at their desk.
Perhaps now we will progress.

In truth the break runs long.
And still we wait…

A man with white hair sets a laptop on the judge’s bench.
Is he the decider of fates or an IT flunky like me?
A pool of potential jurors gets taken across the hall.
And still we wait…

The lawyers get called behind closed doors.
Yet a man waits across the fence where they say.
Casually dressed, I like his shirt.
Defendant, plaintiff, which is he?
I know not.
And still we wait…

Pages rustle, laptops beep, people babble.
And still we wait…

More names get called and the herd thins.
But still we wait…

Both lawyers finally return
But still we wait…

A book of haiku
waits at home wishing
it were here.

But still we wait…

Glasses removed for cleaning
Room all a blur
From poor eyesight & action not
And still we wait…

Lawyers conferring
whispers unheard
Doors a closing
And still we wait…

White haired man returns
In robes, a judge he is.
Waiting is done for now.

Into jury box, I go.
Questions are asked and answered.
Recommended Woodchuck Hard Cider I do.
Questions on alcohol use are frequent, as the case deals with OWI2.
Then a break we take.
And still we wait…

Back in we go.
Strike one, strike two…. strike eight.
Into the the final 13 for me.

Opening statements are made.
Prosecutor’s are long and dry.
Defender’s are short and sweet.

Now it’s time to eat!

Quizno’s my lunch did cook.
Then I bought some comic books.

And now we have to wait
Till we return to decide
One man’s fate.

Prosecutor shows videos and questions witness.
Defender tries to discredit both.
State rests and court adjourns.


Day 2

Defender calls defendant to the stand.
Claims it’s all lies and the videos were faked.

Prosecutor calls the actor from the videos to the stand.
Voices were not a match, though their builds were vaguely similar.
Both sides done presenting.
Now with the judge they are blathering.
And we wait…


There was more to tell, but that’s all I recorded in my notebook. In the end, well… that’s all a matter of public record. Go look it up. I will only admit to the follow:

  • I got a nice lunch on the court’s dime the second day
  • Now I don’t have to serve at the county courthouse for a couple of years.
  • It was nice to be out my office.

1 I used the official notepad for taking notes on the case, which the court kept to be destroyed after my service was completed.
2 As in operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

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