Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Down at the Courthouse

Last Monday was my day to go in for jury duty, and as luck would have it, I was hacking-up-a-lung, get-thee-to-the-doctor sick. (THIS IS THE LAST TIME I'LL MENTION IT I SWEAR!)

Both my dad and Matt have had jury duty up in the Dallas area before, and they said that when you are released without being assigned to a jury, you are given $6 for your time. Immediately outside the doors of the courthouse in that area, there's a Subway restaurant. They agreed that it was the perfect location, and the perfect way to blow your six buckaroos.

But apparently in our county, they mail you a check for your six dollars, so I didn't get any free lunch. Bummer! Instead I just went home and ate a bowl of Caramel Turtle Cheesecake ice cream (sorry Bluebell, this one wasn't your best) and drank some more Diet Sprite.

But even without lunch, it was an interesting experience. I was juror number 20-something in line (out of about 30) for a minor drug case, and since they only needed six jurors, I wasn't really at much risk of being selected. I didn't make it a point to be very vocal about anything, but when asked questions directly I gave my honest opinion.

My biggest takeaway from my experience at the courthouse was that, if you are ever in a position where you are a defendant in court, GET A LAWYER. Hopefully none of us will ever wind up in that situation, but if you do, defending yourself is a baaaaaad idea, unless of course you are a lawyer yourself. Because not-lawyers are not typically skilled in asking good questions to get potential jurors to state opinions. And instead you might ask a whole bunch of rhetorical questions that no one can really answer, which is not helpful in selecting the people who will be deciding your fate.

But luckily I was dismissed around lunchtime, so I didn't have to listen to the defense ramble for a few more hours, though it definitely would have made for an interesting trial!

Have you ever been selected to serve on a jury? (Had I felt better, I probably would have liked to see the whole thing go down!)


  1. I have been called for jury duty three times (all of which happened within my first four years of being eligible!) including one federal jury summons. They always occurred when I was out of state for school, so I have never had to sit through one. I'm pretty sure I would hate it, haha.

  2. I've only gone to jury duty once (all other times I was still in college). I went in, sat around with the others and then all we had to do was show our slip and leave. They didn't use any of us because we were the second group of the day and they had more than enough from the first group earlier that day. I also got the $6 check in the mail.

  3. I actually have never had to serve jury duty! I was summoned once last year, but was never actually called to come in and serve. I think it would be interesting to actually serve, but thinking about the type of case I might have to hear makes me nervous!

    Fizz and Frosting

    1. Yeah, I"m glad it would have been a pretty straight-forward case if I had been chosen. I was kind of worried I would get stuck serving on a murder trial or something, and would just start freaking out in the middle of the courtroom.

  4. People who defend themselves are usually entertaining, but not all that effective. glad to hear you didn't have to spend long at the courthouse!