Sunday, September 21, 2008

I've been robbed of my chance . . .

In July 2008 I received an invitation from the federal Clerk of the United States District Court. Well, it wasn’t exactly an invitation; it was a summons for jury service.

My name has been selected for the county level jury duty twice over the years and I have sat in on three different trials. I tried to imagine what kind of crimes the federal court would be trying; white collar crime, check forgery, maybe a bank robbery. Certainly much more interesting crimes than the run-of-the-mill misdemeanors that I saw at the county level.

Being an experienced juror, I was prepared for the long hours of doing nothing. I had a good book to read, Sudoku puzzles and hand work ready.
I eagerly awaited for the first weekend I was to dial in to the automated phone system to see if my number had been called for me to appear for duty the following Monday. I was disappointed when I received a canned message saying I was not needed.
But, I was not yet entirely off the hook; I needed to call in again the following weekend. There still was a chance that I might have to stand up to do my civil duty. I, again, eagerly called in this weekend only to be told that I wasn’t needed.
The federal government is just a big tease. They got my hopes up only to reject me. See if I ever give THEM the time of day.
Oh, Good Grief

Of course, what I’m really disappointed about is that now I have to just go to work each day instead of listening to some juicy gossip about people I don’t know. I would have gotten in on all of the inside dope. I would be “in the know”. All of my hopes of being interviewed by the press and maybe getting my 15 minutes of fame – out the window.

On the other hand, had I been chosen I would have had to get up an hour earlier to make the long drive to another county. And that drive would have had to be made in the middle of all the morning commuters on their way to the same area I needed to be. And again at night I would be in among the commuters coming home.
I’m spoiled. It takes me 10 minutes from my garage to my desk and I like it that way.


Kim said...

I have only been called once to serve on a county jury. It was a sad case of a car accident that killed a young girl. It was hard because race and financial status came into play during the case.
Several wanted to make the defendant pay weather he was guilty or not because they felt bad for the family that lost their daughter. I eventually found out the family of the girl had cases pending with many people they felt were to blame in any way.
We found the defendant in our case was not at fault but another car that had caused the accident. The problem was that the other car had left the scene and no one knew who it was that caused the chain of events.
Just such a sad thing for all the parties effected by the accident.

Bridget said...

I was summoned for Federal Jury Duty once and I was on call for 6 months. I was actually excited about doing but to my dismay every time I was to call I was told I wasn't needed. bummer

Suzanne said...

Would you believe I've never had to serve? I've been summoned many times, but never had the chance to serve. It will catch up with me someday! :)