Everyone I talked to said "Oh yeah, you'll go and sit there for half a day and then you'll be dismissed. No big deal."
Yeah right...not for me! I'm proudly Juror #2 on a jury of 6 (plus 2 alternates). The case isn't over yet...yes, that's right...It's been 5 days and this thing it still going. I wish I could say it's exciting...or even the least bit interesting...but it's not. Obviously, I can't talk about the case, but there are several case-unrelated things I've learned in the past few days.
First, I've come to the conclusion that jury duty is like a distorted social experiment. You put 8 (in my case) strangers in a room and watch them socialize. It's been quite an experience, let me tell ya...
So, let's review other things I've learned so far:
- Annapolis is a lovely city...I would like to go back again sometime when I don't have jury duty.
- The bailiffs are all cute little old men that volunteer for the job. My bailiff especially makes my day. He takes such pride in leading "his jury" around the courthouse.
- All the judges offices are called Chambers...so therefore, I will now be referring to my cubicle as my "chamber."
- A court recess of 5 minutes is really 20.
- I've learned all possible scenarios in which an attorney can object to the judge.
- Court isn't really like what they play on Law and Order...however there have been at least 3 specific instances of yelling and fist-pounding.
- The courtroom also doesn't look like it does on Law and Order. It's much less daunting.
- You get paid $15 per diem...which covers lunch...that's it. Maybe not even the tip.
- Bring a book and/or some form of entertainment. Even if you're on a trial, the amount of waiting you do is ridiculous. If you don't have entertainment, you'll end of staring at the person across from you the whole time...which again, is part of that social experiment I was talking about.