Friday, May 08, 2009
Jury Duty: Final Day
I kept my juror button as a keepsake. We were supposed to turn them in. But I declined the $10 per day because it just didn't feel right to get paid for serving this week. I don't get paid to vote so why should this be any different? So, instead, I stole from the government and brought my button home.
It's over. I bid farewell to my friends. The judge declared me the "unsung hero" of the week. The jury didn't quite vote the way I would have but they didn't do too bad. I got to hang out with them again during their breaks today and they all reiterated that they were sad I wasn't with them. One lady said, "It feels like part of our family is missing."
Before every lunch break and before we left for the day this week, the judge had to read a prewritten reminder that we were not to discuss this case with anyone...etc,etc. Today after the trial he said, "You now have the freedom to discuss this case with anyone and everyone you choose. Although you may be too sick of it to do so."
Who knew judges were so funny?
After the trial we came back into the courtroom to meet with the lawyers and ask them questions and they got to ask us questions about the trial. That was really neat. It's like watching a live taping of a dramatic tv show, then getting to watch the actors/actresses come out and act normal and talk freely and candidly.
My friend and I were the last to leave the room and got stuck talking to the plaintiff. He wanted some input from both of us about the trial. I was nervous, of course. But I thought I was out of the woods because he was asking a lot about what went on during deliberations. He then turned to me and asked which side I was leaning more toward.
I got flustered because I had to confess to this man who worked so hard trying to plead his case, that I was actually leaning more toward the defendants' side.
The judge asked me that same question when we left the courtroom (he hadn't been in there when the lawyer asked me). At first I thought he was joking. I said, "Do you really want to know?". He said, "Not if you don't want to tell me." I told him what I told the lawyer. It felt kinda cool that they were asking my opinion on the already decided matter...simply out of curiosity.
So that's it. My week is over. And you all are probably glad my long drawn out posts about the days' events are over. My regularly scheduled blog about my endearing children and their sometimes bizarre behavior will continue henceforth.
I will leave you with this final thought from our judge. He always shakes the hands of each juror after trials and thanks them for their service. He said he will never forget shaking hands with a man who gripped back tightly and said, "Sir, I served in the Korean War. I fought for this right. It was my privilege to be here this week."
Posted by Kristen at 9:54 PM