Monday, April 24, 2006

Jury Cutie Duty

I recently received a summons to report for jury duty (that's what I get for registering to vote, LOL). I reported for duty last Thursday at 8am. At the entrance of the building there is a metal detector that everyone has to pass through before entering the building. Since I'd reported for jury duty in the past I knew to bring a well-stocked backpack with me, filled with all kinds of things to fill the time. The x-ray kept showing something "knifelike" in my bag, which I told them was not the case since I wasn't' carrying a knife. After a third pass through, the guard concluded it was my cellphone.

Upon entering the main room where all the potential jurors were gathered, I immediately honed in on a really good-looking guy with huge biceps. I briefly considered sitting nearby, if nothing else, to take a picture and show you guys, but then I thought "Forget it." I knew in my heart that he longed to meet someone just like me simply didn't want to maneuver through rows of already seated people just to sit and ogle some guy I'm never gonna meet anyway. Instead, I opted to sit in the front row (more leg room) and just read the book I brought with me. Eventually, the video presentation began. Yes, they actually made us watch a video explaining the whole "euphoric" experience of civic duty. In addition to the star-spangled pep speech delivered by various people, there were also film clips from popular mainstream (so as not to confuse the masses) jury-related films, interspersed throughout the judicial system sales pitch. Films like: Liar Liar, Legally Blonde, To Kill a Mockingbird and My Cousin Vinny. In retrospect I guess it's a pretty smart idea to appeal to the everyman, but at the time it felt like the video was underestimating our intelligence, but then I looked around at all the slack-jawed yokels on cell phones and thought "Eh, maybe not."

We took the oath and eventually 150 of us were given numbers 1-150 and seated accordingly. I was #6. Then each of us were given a 19 page questionnaire to fill out (more details later, if I don't get chosen to be on the jury, otherwise mum's the word until all is said and done), detailing the case at hand and asking us our opinion on various topics. We were required to fill out the questionnaire in the felt tip pen they provided for us. The moron sitting next to me was holding his in such a way that whenever he turned a page, the tip narrowly missed my khaki pants. He got me once, and I was ready to be a bitch if it happened again, but it didn't. Three and a half hours later we were dismissed and asked to return in 2 1/2 hours. Oh goodie. I basically spent my 2 1/2 hours reading in the plaza across the street and eating a club sandwich from Zippy's. During which, while organizing my backpack, I discovered that, shoved into the bottom of one of the interior pockets, was a small pocketknife! LOL! OMG, I felt so deceitful. Since I haven't used this backpack in forever, I'd totally forgotten that it was in there. To be honest, I'd forgotten I even owned it. Anyway, I forgot all about it just as quickly as I'd discovered it and re-entered the building with it again! However, this time it was without incident. Weird.

Once everyone returned from break, we were each given a date & time to return to be interviewed by, I'm assuming, each team of lawyers on both the defense and the prosecution. To be honest, I'm kind of nervous. I offer no apologies for my answers but at the same time I also feel like a judicial profile is somehow an invasion of privacy (esp. considering the nature of some of the questions asked on the questionnaire). Besides, if they're going to call everyone in to grill them again what was the point of the 19-page questionnaire? They could have just gave us an oral exam with the same questions and monitored out reaction, etc. Whatever. I'll let you know how it turns out.

On a positive note, I received a whopping $6 check (I can retire now) and the court reporter ("Bill Shelton") was super-dreamy! He reminded me so much of someone I once had a crush on, that I couldn't stop stealing looks. He was very cute...little wedding ring. He's probably 12. LOL! Whatever the case he was a nice distraction to an otherwise boring day. BTW, I also took plenty of pictures of downtown Fort Worth, but I'll be posting those at a later date.

So, just for the heck of it, I'm listing 4 of my favorite courtroom films. Click on each one to read a synopsis. All are currently available on DVD.


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