Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Jury Duty: Day 2
There were a lot fewer potential jurors in the assembly room this morning. That’s because Panel #13 was told not to come in today so only my panel (#14) was there. There are about 100 people on each panel.
Yesterday we watched the video on the monitors hanging from the ceiling. We might be selected for either a Civil trial or a Criminal trial. There are six jurors in a civil case and twelve in a criminal case. A typical case lasts two or three days. Potential jurors wait in the assembly room until a trial that’s already in progress needs a jury. A subgroup of us will be selected and shuffled off to the courtroom where jury selection takes place.
At 9:20 the Sheriff’s Official began taking attendance in the assembly room. She read out everyone’s name and we had to shout out “here” if we really were here. It was just like grade two, including the few who shouted out “present” just to be different. Since we have to pass by the Sheriff’s desk as we enter the room, it’s not clear to me why we couldn’t just have signed in when we arrived instead of wasting 12 minutes in a roll call. A sign-in would have spared us having to listen to someone mispronounce our names. You have to wonder why someone who does this every single day wouldn’t have learned how to pronounce “Nguyen” by now.
At 10:30 another Sheriff’s Official showed up. She had just received word from the judge that jury selection in her trial was going to be delayed due to legal issues. Since that was the only trial that might have required a jury we were dismissed for today. (There are 50 courtrooms and 40,000 cases per year. This gives you some idea of how few of them require a jury.)
Come back tomorrow at 9AM.