Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Jury Duty July 2, 2013

Filed under: Events,In My Neighborhood,Totally Me — leighj @ 3:21 pm
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Well, I got called up for jury duty this summer. Because July 4th wee is a short one, and all the other weeks this summer have at least something else going on, I decided to go on in, even though it meant giving up my Fourth of July plans with the family.

I rode the scooter, so as to preserve as much of my $30 as I could from the day’s events. We arrived, checked in, got oriented, and so forth. There were 24 people for a misdemeanor trial in which they would choose seven of us for the jury. I was pretty excited when they sat me as Juror #2. Then they asked the questions, and I made all the right answers, or so I thought. But I must have been just too twitchy, because someone (I’m guessing the Commonwealth) struck me off the jury panel.

It was a DUI case, and so some of the questions were, “Do you have a moral or religious reason for not ever drinking?” None of the 13 said yes. I don’t know if that would be the case in other places I’ve lived…I’m looking at you Kentucky. Although I was surprised that no one said yes to the question, “Do you think it should be against the law for someone to drive after having even a little to drink?”

One of the questions was about “Do you have any close family or friends who are lawyers?” I rolled my eyes at that question, because come on, this is Northern Virginia. Every other person is a lawyer! Maybe that’s why they struck me. I actually think it was because the judge said to give audible answers to each question, and for the question “Do you think a State Trooper’s testimony is more accurate than a layperson’s?” My no was the only one I could hear.

I left after I was excused, but I was a little bummed they weren’t paying me to watch the video of the accused, as it promised to be the only exciting evidence since there was not BAC test. And that folks, was my jury duty. Maybe I’ll get called again tomorrow.

The only think different from TV was that on TV they show you what the lawyers and the judge are talking about when they approach the bench. In the real life courtroom, they play a horrible buzzing sound to cover up the mics. I jumped every time it came on, so maybe that’s why they struck me.

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