Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jury Duty

I'm serving jury duty this week and next.  By an odd set of circumstances Wife is also serving jury duty as well though her two week service period started the week before mine did.  This confluence of service occurred because of multiple rescheduling we did at the end of last year.

Here in Albuquerque there are three courts you can be called in on to do jury duty.  There is the Metropolitan Court which handles smaller criminal and civil actions.  District Court which handles the larger stuff.  And Federal District Court which deals with cases involving Federal rather than State law. 

Wife and I have been called to Metropolitan Court.  This means that we mostly go to the Courthouse in the morning, sit around for half a day and be sent home.  The reason you rarely end up going to an actual jury is that the small nature of the cases usually are settled before they go to trial.  In addition they start a new jury pool group each week and (in general) bring them in every other day.

Unfortunately they don't actually tell this to you.  They tell you you need to be available for two weeks.  So that means two weeks of not being able to schedule anything business or personal.  Wife only has two more days to go and has only been on one panel and that panel never actually was called up for interview.  I on the other hand was called onto a panel the first day there (Monday) and was selected for the jury.  The trial was a DUI case and went through Monday and Tuesday. 

The trial itself was kind of interesting and being responsible for someone's fate certainly makes you pay close, close attention to all that goes on during the trial.  What's a royal pain is all the waiting around.  I don't know anything about how courts schedule things, but as a juror you are mostly in the dark about what's happening.  So there's all this waiting around without knowing when you're starting or how long things are going to go.  Plus you can't have any electronic devices with cameras on them in the courthouse (so no phone or computer if they are half way recent at all), and none at all period when you are in the jury itself.

The jury deliberating room is this small place with now windows or anything.  When we finally finished and had our verdict, we called them only to be told they were on to something else so we had to sit in this tiny room for another hour and a half.

Fortunately today no panels were called and I was able to come home at Noon time.


Agent W said...

Proud of you and Mrs. d-I for doing your civic duty!

alexis said...

yes, interesting you actually sat in on something!!

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

I've been called once, but only sat in a room all day. I think it would be interesting to be part of a case, but I can see how all the waiting would get old.