Thursday, March 31, 2011

What? Again?

I don't know anyone who's been called up for the jury pool and I thought I'd done my bit way back in... 2006? So, when I saw a letter from the Sheriff's Office, I had to think back to whether I'd done something nefarious (love that word: ne-fare-ious).

Nope. Damn it, nothing criminal at all to warrant a summons, but an alert that I'd been added to the jury pool - for a year. Again. Am I lucky or wot?

The first time was an attempted murder case - and I was all set to do my civic duty (and pay attention to the finer details of how a legal case is presented, you know, for research purposes) - but we were discharged after three days due to a witness opening his big trap about a previous incident. Me, I'd already condemned the accused purely on the police evidence already presented. Oh... wait. I was supposed to withhold judgement until the defence had finished? Well, the accused was convicted a year later, so the defence must have been weak.

Anyway. I'm interested in how the process works, as well as studying all involved - including fellow jurors who, at the time, seemed quite... listless and uninterested in the proceedings, unwilling to create much of a discussion in the jurors' room. But I chatted away, explaining my thoughts on the case and lo, interest increased.

I wondered, though, whether they were trying to think of ways to be excused - isn't that what most people do? Sure, it's an interruption to your own life, but it's not just about doing your duty as a citizen, it's a fascinating insight into the legal system a lot of the population don't see, or try to avoid because it's inconvenient.

I'm rather excited about being a juror again and I solemnly vow to study the evidence before me, without fear or favour, and reach a verdict I believe is true.

And then file the experience away for future use...

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