Tuesday, July 1, 2008

«End of Jury Duty»

Here's how my jury duty went yesterday. It's actually a fairly major trial; expected to go 4 days, 6 felony counts, they brought a judge down from Juneau...

I got there a few minutes before they opened the jury chambers. There were already several people waiting. Once they opened the door, I was the second one to enter the room and sign in. I was handed a form to fill out, asking general information and if I knew any of the involved parties. I knew one of the witnesses, although not well. I went to school with him, but haven't spoken in years.

We watched a video about the role of a jury in the justice system. The video was made in the 70's, someone next to me sarcastically commented "at least they're up to date". The video was a bit exaggerated. They even admitted that in the video itself, saying something along the lines of "the reenactments in the video are extremes so as to make it more clear".

Anyway, after that we all shuffled into the courtroom. The judge asked a few general questions, such as are we all US citizens and Alaska residents. She pointed out we all should be, as the jurors are selected from Alaska permanent fund dividend applicants. (It's illegal for someone that's not an Alaska resident to apply for the permanent fund dividend.) She also asked if there was anyone mentally ill among us. That got a few laughs from people.

I was the first one called to the jury box. I didn't have many questions asked of me from either the prosecutor or the defense attorney. There were a few people that were dismissed because they couldn't be impartial or had emotional issues with the subject matter of the trial. When it came time for the actual selections, I was the very first one to get booted. The prosecutor didn't like me.

So that's the end of my jury duty for the month. I was out just before noon. I wish I would have made the trial, but then I couldn't have said much about it today. At least I got the experience I did.


  1. It must've been odd to recognize someone in the trial... Think that had anything to do w/ you being booted?

  2. No, it wasn't odd. I didn't even see him there. His name was just on a list. It's a small town, most people knew someone on the list.

    And no, I'm pretty sure that's not what got me booted. I think I know exactly what got me booted, but I'm not going to go into it. It's a long story I'd rather not tell.


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