Monday, October 20, 2003

My Civic Duty

I was supposed to call in for jury duty today, but I totally forgot. oops. I checked on friday and my group was on standby, so it's highly unlikely that I would have had to go in at all, but still, feel a little guilty that I didn't even call the silly hotline as instructed.

The last time I got called for jury duty, I was living on Nantucket - the small island I grew up on, population about 10,000. I report to the town building, I drink the bad coffee with the other jurors, and I watch the video as instructed. About an hour passes and we're finally called into the courtroom where the judge asks all the potential jurors a series of questions to ensure that they'll could be impartial. If your answer to any question is "yes", you're instructed to stand up. Of course the judge asks "do you know the defendent, the plaintiff, or any of the witnesses involved in this case?" and when he does, ninety percent of the potential jurors stand up. When the judge gets to me and asks who I know in the case, I answer honestly: the plaintiff is my friend's little sister, the defendent is a guy who was a few years ahead of me in high school, one of the witnesses used to sleep over my house when I was a little kid, etc.

How exactly do they ever fill a jury on Nantucket? The good news, I suppose, is that there really isn't much crime on Nantucket that warrants a jury.


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