I, Jury

So I’m sitting there in New York Superior Court this morning, patiently waiting to serve out my jury duty — yeah, I got a summons for jury duty — and I keep thinking back to the last time I was called up for it. That was about ten years ago, when I lived in Washington, D.C., and I’ve never forgotten how I basically punted on my civic responsibility at the time — giving answers to the judge and lawyers that, while not untruthful, probably ensured my dismissal. To this day, I remain pretty ashamed of my behavior then — I can᾿t even remember the rationale behind my need to skip out on jury duty at the time, but it was certainly an insufficient justification.

Now’s my chance to make it right. I found myself feeling not a little bored and uncomfortable on the cold benches of the court room, also actively hoping I’d get chosen this time. The process of selecting jurors from the pool to question is random, but each time they pulled a name out of the hat, I was basically praying it would be mine. Much to my chagrin, it didn’t happen. That᾿s not to say I’m looking to get assigned to an epic, Jacko-style case, but I wouldn’t mind a week or two of court room action. Getting a trial of any greater length than three days, under recently revised state laws, would also have the added benefit of exempting me from further jury service for six years; that’s what you call a great deal. But more than that, I think I just feel compelled to perform this civic duty now. I’m not the irresponsible kid I was at twenty-three, when I was ostensibly civic-minded but more greatly preoccupied with my personal calendar. Basically, I’m an adult now.

  1. I am quite impressed you was summoned twice in your life already. But I guess it is like that in huge populated areas such as NYC or Washington DC.
    I think I would have to live 5 lifetimes before getting such a convocation for jury duty here in France. I even do not know how it really works. But according to my memory about a documentary I saw once, it is a bit scary because you get stuck into that for 2, 3 or 4 weeks, cannot go to work obviousely & getting very low money compensation for it.

  2. i did the same thing three years ago.. basically told WAY too much of the truth to get out of jury duty, but i was also freelancing then and two weeks out of work would have been the kiss of death. now that i’m a happily salaried employee, i would be more than willing to do jury duty. i think that it always depends on how things are going in life as to whether you get picked to serve or not.

Thank you! Your remarks have been sent to Khoi.