You Can't Escape Jury Duty!
You may have noticed that the wonderful Rosemary Reynolds was co-anchoring Portland's Afternoon News on Tuesday. That's because I was doing my civic duty: jury duty. People usually groan when they get a jury summons and many people try to get out of it. Not me though, I was excited! I've never been called for jury duty and wanted to have the experience. Never been called either? Mostly you will do a lot of waiting, but the process was very intriguing to me. Hundreds of people sit in a room, waiting for a judge to call down and request a jury pool, made up (usually) of 18 people. Those people then go to the courtroom and are asked a series of standard questions, like name, education and occupation. From there, the lawyers will narrow it down to 12 people (usually) and the remainder are sent back down to the waiting room. I never even made it that far, but I was close. (More on that later.) Since the process is totally random, you could be called up to a courtroom several times or not at all. I was picked as a "holding group" just before lunch, which meant that 2 courts were still waiting to see if a jury was needed or not. About 50 people were held back just in case, and the rest of the masses were set free. Turns out, the holding group wasn't needed and I was released after about 7 hours of playing on my i Pad.
Probably sounds boring for a lot of people but it reminded me that jury duty is important. You could be involved in a case that dramatically impacts your community, not to mention the direct parties involved. The people involved in the cases, whether criminal or civil, are dependent on you serving. I wish I could tell you I got called to a juicy case but alas, it just meant a day out of work. But the next time you're called, just think of the important implications it means.