I, The Juror

Judge's gavel

Chris Potter via Creative Commons

Two weeks ago, it came. Jury summons. Last time was in Clermont County. Never set foot in the courthouse. In Hamilton County, you have to show up, at least on your first day.

I can’t begrudge jury duty. I’ve never been drafted, and while I vote in the major elections, I avoid primaries where only party ballots are available. Especially this year.

I did call in to say my current employer only pays for a week of jury duty. Being still somewhat new on the job, I didn’t want to burn off what little PTO I have left to sit on a jury. No problem. They switched me to one-week service. Upside, I’ll likely be out of it tomorrow. Downside, I still have to come in everyday, at least on Wednesday. If I am not called to a trial by the time they send us home on Wednesday, I’m done for the week. Any trial I have to sit will have to be done by Friday. That’s the jury coordinator’s words, not mine.

I’ve been paranoid of jury duty for about 20 years. The OJ Simpson trial went on for a year, with the jury sequestered. More recently, a judge was tried on corruption charges in a trial that took over a month. My fear was I’d get stuck on one of those juries. In reality, that seldom happens. What does happen is usually we get a civil trial. Most of those never seat the jury even after one is selected. Why? A jury showing up usually convinces one or both parties to settle.

Would I try to get out of a trial? I don’t know. I don’t really see a compelling reason to. I’m paid to be there.

1 Comment to "I, The Juror"

  1. May 3, 2016 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I was seated on a jury once, for an aggravated assault trial. It took three days, and luckily, things were slow at work so no problems there. You should definitely do it if selected – you will find it very interesting to your writer’s mind! And the OJ trial was a major outlier.

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