Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's gonna be cold... it's gonna be gray... and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life.


I was not picked for a trial...well, I was picked at about 3:00pm in the afternoon. Our group of about 30 was sequestered in a small room where we waited and waited for two hours. I thought if I ever see this judge I will discuss the definition of torture with him. I do think serving on a jury if asked is a civic duty and very important...but the way it is carried out needs to be changed!
The court needs to be a little more sensitive to people... especially those who haven't committed a crime!
In our county when you receive a jury summons, you are instructed that you will sit in the jury pool until your name is called or in my case...until 3:00pm. We are told to arrive at 8:00 am. I tried reading but the chairs were hard and it was incredible cold...I had dressed warmly because I do know me well but I forgot to wear my fur-lined boots so my feet were freezing.
It was a long day...especially since there was a young man of about 30 who also had an answer for everything...I mean everything. Whatever topic was brought up...his answer was "Well, in the military we would have shot them!" "Or I prefer, military justice!" On and on it went...I prayed to Jesus...I just don't want to be here anymore and not around this guy...So of course at 3:00pm when his name was called and he was lining up...I smiled...right up until my name was called!
I lined up beside this guy and said silently "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?"

I spent two more hours with this guy..in a room... much smaller than the first...waiting ...waiting... waiting. I found out a lot about this young man during this time...He was afraid he was going to lose his job and when I said I was sorry...he brushed it off with a shrug and said I will find another... but I could tell he didn't believe that! We were told once that in 10 minutes we would be entering the court room and given our instructions on what order to line up...One hour later the bailiff came back in! One very strange woman who I can't imagine would fit on any jury of any one's peers began to lose it...I mean lose it! She did threaten the bailiff and God love him he was patient...she said she was walking out at 5:00pm! He said I understand your frustration but the judge will site you with contempt of court!

We were all in that tiny room for two hours and I began to think this was some sort of reality TV show or purgatory...Finally... right at 5:00 pm...we were called into the court room and told by the judge that what we had done today was important but we wouldn't be needed!
Who knows maybe the angry young man is right..."Maybe we do need military justice!" Or maybe just God's Justice!
Part two of Monday...for tomorrow!

"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8

16 comments:

Jennifer said...

Ugh Ronda--that sounds like a nightmare! You're right--they definitely need to change the system to make things more bearable!

Rhonda said...

Oh, how frustrating!!!! Do they at least feed you and pay your lost wages while you sit there??

Ronda's Rants said...

Hell No!!! You receive fifteen dollars if your employer doesn't pay you for the day...well I am self employed and I will pay me for the day...so I didn't collect it. But those who aren't paid...fifteen dollars probably won't cover their gas! But...I think most of us were upset about how little our time was valued...I think that was the insulting part!
Some of these people were afraid of being fired, lost wages etc. It was a very long day! Part two tomorrow because I wasn't finished...After I left the court house I had another meeting to go to!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I had jury duty when we lived in San Diego. I went, got called into a courtroom, ended up being picked as an alternate, sat through three days of testimony (and the nastiest sore throat EVER) and then the 4th morning we came in and they had settled out of court.. grrr... but it was cool because the judge let us come in and ask him questions about the trial and the criminal justice process.

I'm sorry about that guy... you should have just leaned over and kissed him.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Just FYI - if an employer fired you because of Jury Duty, they would be in some DEEP do do... they can, however, not pay you.

LoLo said...

oh the joys of jury duty. This was what happened to me only they questioned us for the trial and then told us they didnt need a jury anymore!! Oh it is such a nightmare in there!! They really do need to do something about changing the process

Linda S said...

that's awful...seriously they can treat you like that?

Diane said...

I been called for jury duty twice and both times sat a trial, once as foreman. It wasn't fun but it was an experience I valued tremendously and would do again in a heartbeat. Sorry your experience sucked but I was happy to hear you say you think it's an important job. So many people just want to get out of it and even when they're ON a jury, just try to get it all over as quickly as possible. I remember asking a woman who was whining about going home if she or someone she loved was on trial, would she want HER jury just bitching about being 'stuck' hearing evidence. Grrr.

Ronda's Rants said...

No...I too have served on a jury for a murder trial...this isn't my first rodeo!This is my 5th time answering a jury summons! I do beleive it is important but I do think the court could be a little more sensitive to those who haven't been accused of a crime! I was in a room of about 600 people...300 of whom were never called. I think if you are going to call that many people...you should devide the group into two sessions..an AM and PM group! I think the insensitivity to the jurors explains a lot about people's attitude to jury duty! I know I have now become callous!

careysue said...

That is horrible...we sometimes are such a backward society...don't let me get on my soapbox!!

Anyway, glad you're done with that!!

Can't wait to hear the second part!

Scary Mommy said...

Oh, what a nightmare!! The only time I've been requested I was 9 months pregnant and got off. Your story will keep me getting knocked up just to stay away!!!

Kori said...

Legally peopel cannot lose their jobs for serving on a jury. Just so you know. The lost wages are a problem, absolutely, but you guys probably DID do a good thing-it sounds like they might have reached a plea agreement, which means that it wasn't necessary to go to trial, which saved your county thousands of dollars. Yo ucould have done the military justice thing for that dude, though-ugh!

Blog Stalker said...

There is always somebody in every group(like your 'young' man of 30) who just is full of themselves and irritates everyone. And then there is the poor sap who ends up sitting next to them......sorry that had to be you

Have a better day!

Z's Mom said...

That experience sound a lot like the military...."hurry up and wait"....

Mamahut said...

You poor girl, I hate jury duty~

J'Ollie Primitives said...

My first and last jury duty spell consisted of the defendan'ts lawyer asking "if you smoked crack with somebody in the afternoon and he came back to rob you that night while you were asleep, would you recognize him by the light of a lighter he was holding up to poke around your belongings? Now remember, he's awakened you from a sound sleep"
We waited four days in a cold room for THAT? Pit.i.ful.