I was called to honor the constitution by showing up early yesterday for jury duty. I arrived at the Salinas Railroad Station where you can catch a ride on Amtrak. It would be fun to do that some day, maybe go to Portland or thereabouts.
But I was among several others waiting for the shuttle bus that would take us to the court house, where we met with hundreds of other folks waiting to honor the constitution.
A high fashion, model-looking woman wearing her black hair pulled back in a neat bun, a dress-for-sucess suit and pearls greeted us. She is a judge.
She had a list of potential questions the hundreds of sleepy folks might have asked and she answered all of them.
Then two hours went buy. I read Dickens in my ebook while waiting. Soon I was called to a court room, and another hour went by. Then I was asked to take a seat at the jury bench. The young handsome, male judge, gave us instructions, told us how honored we were to be there, and how grateful he and the two attorneys were to have us there as potential jurors. The man, for whom the trial would be about, sat there with his attorney wearing a white shirt and dark suit.
The questions seemed pretty easy of all of us, and I told them about being a news reporter and now an AmeriCorps worker and agreed that it would be my pleasure to be honest and unbiased.
Others were more verbal, some even a bit argumentative. As the day went on, and some were excused, while others in the room were asked up to the jury bench, I eventually got excused. I wasn’t certain why, until I searched online how jurors are chosen. It said that lawyers lie about how they want folks to be unbiased, to know in their heart that the person on trial is innocent until proven guilty, but what they want is just the opposite.
They want to see the body language, and the words reflect how they might favor their side. It seemed to me, the more someone tried to get out of serving on the jury, it actually worked to insure them a seat instead.
I was relieved to be excused, for three to four days from recruiting volunteers would put me back and make it more difficult than it already is.