So. Jury duty. I've never been called before. I think I move around just enough to generally dodge it. But my summons came in the mail, with the instruction to check in after 5pm on Friday, September 16 to find out whether I'd need to report the following Monday. The website said jurors number 1-489 needed to report. I was number 31.
Apparently this was pretty much the most jurors they've ever had and it showed in the inadequacy of space in the jurors' lounge (ok, "lounge" - there was nothing comfortable about this place). I sat on the floor for the orientation and then planned to take out my computer, which I'd brought since the "lounge" had wifi. Except they immediately called jurors 1-60 to go to a courtroom.
They told us it was a medical malpractice case. Score! I live with a doctor! Who is also my boyfriend! There's no way they'll pick me!
And they did ask whether we had family or close friends who were in the medical field. Yeah, that was about three quarters of us. They'd ask who, what speciality, where they practice and then whether we thought this would interfere with our ability to be impartial. And damn it, I couldn't bring myself to say that Raj being a doctor was going to bias me. The guy behind me though had no problem saying that having two uncles who were attorneys was going to keep him from being impartial. No, he didn't know what kind of law they practiced or where. He was also wearing a hammer and sickle t-shirt. May as well have been a Princess Leia costume.
We did this all day. Have you or any family member or close friend sued or been sued for malpractice or personal injury? Have you had an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Diverticulitis or diverticulosis? Neuropathy? Since it all took so long, we had a lunch break. Several of us wound up at a pizza place, where I watched one potential juror have two beers and no food.
He was among the at least 75% of potential jurors who raised their hands when the judge asked if there was a reason we couldn't sit on a jury for eight days. Two beers guy pleaded financial hardship (no wonder he couldn't afford pizza.) There was family vacation, no child care, medical appointment, presentation at work, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The judge was not having most of it. Even the DC cop who was scheduled to testify for a grand jury the next day was asked if there wasn't someone else who could do it for him.
Finally, they began to call juror numbers. We thought they were calling eight jurors. Which they did. And then...juror number 31. Damn it.
Unrelated post-script. In case you thought I was exaggerating the amazingness of this butternut squash risotto, here's the empty risotto container next to the milk to give you an idea of scale. This container was full after dinner on Monday. Empty by 12:30 today. And we didn't share with anyone else.