Monday, March 30, 2009


I came very close to being on a jury. I was summoned, and when I checked online, my group had to report. This is the third time in as many years that I've been summoned - the other end of California's massive prison system, I suppose. But I never had to show up before!

It was actually pretty fascinating, even aside from the legal angle that would naturally interest me. There were about 40 of us in the jury room, with 24 in the hot seats - the jury box. It's odd to hear people answer really personal questions in front of 40 strangers. We heard the stories about being assaulted, being threatened by a boyfriend (a few), getting DUIs and possession charges in the 1970s (several), having their car broken into (many). Hearing things that these people's friends probably don't know, like that their brother has been arrested twice. It really humanized everyone, knowing what they were walking around with inside their memories.

It truly was diverse, people just out of college and people in their 70s, African American, Asian, Indian, Scandinavian (?). There was a woman who worked at Jack-and-the-Box, a Deputy District Attorney (excused by the defendant), a writer from Mother Jones.

While I wasn't looking forward to taking the time off from work, I was a little disappointed when they got their 12 before I was questioned.


Che said...

I dont think there's really a chance you would have been selected anyway - one of the 'benefits' of the profession

Jim said...

I got called late last year. Here's how it went:

Defense Attorney: What is your profession Mr. Kiryakoza?

Me: I'm a newly minted lawyer.

Prosecutor: Thank you for your service Mr. Kiryakoza, you're dismissed.