Monday, September 11, 2006
9/11 at the Hall of Justice
today everyone in our country gathered to remember what happened five years ago today-
the day that changed my life when i was but a senior in high school-the day i thought forsure the world was ending- but life went on and things have changed since that day in september.
i can't help but choke up and cry watching the news this morning and tonight.
but today i had other things on my mind too.
today i headed to the hall of justice downtown to serve my duty as an American on my second day of jury duty.
last monday i reported to get a group and be told to return in a week...there was 210 or some of us that showed up that day. i guess that they were trying to find enough jurors for the whole month or something.
so that is what i did. and here is what i saw as juror number 299/23
what does one wear to jury duty you might ask?
well the juror's guide "serving on a jury...a handbook for nebraska jurors" suggests wearing comfortable clothing which reflects the seriousness of jury services.
i chose to wear a nice black chasmire quarter length sweater with black pants with white pin stripes.
what others wore was quiet entertaining. some showed up in suits and dresses, while others wore shorts and flipflops.
the jurors room was like a lecture hall with a retro flare. the chairs where a blue/red irradesent color that were a overy stuffed to be impossibly uncomfortable with only half of a back- so kiss your lumbar support goodbye.
as i scanned the room i knoticed mostly 40 somethings in the room...most of them with nothing to read or do when we are not needed...which is hours when added up. not smart buddies. i being the smart girl that i am brought a new book- the devil wears prada-that i bought this summer and intened on reading- but never started after i got a job...go figure.
anyways back to the fun-the walls of the jury hall were lined with framed pictures of past judges-all men except of one lovely lady.
the room was pretty quiet except the beeping of the metal detector in the hall and quiet whispers of bored jurors. we sat there for about an hour before they split us into two new groups and sent us with new numbers (mine 23) to two court rooms (15 on the 3rd floor for me)...alot of numbers i know...are you still following?
so i then go to floor number three and am seated by a loud breathing man who smelled of booze. that was a blast for the next 2 hours of examination by a slow taking state prosecuter. he told us that it was a criminal case and that happens to be a homicide that took place with a baseball bat.
great, just great....well atleast it wouldn't be a boring case i think to myself. he then introduces the defense team and that the defendant that is beind sued by the state of nebraska is actually sitting there with his attorney. he looked like a normal 30 year old man. he looked like a nice guy. this was very interesting...
i didnt know what to think. i knew that he was innocent until proven gulity...but this is not something i have had to face before. there were now 39 jurors and we were being questions to figure out which 13 of us are the best for thier case. so we sat there and they asked us if we were related to any police officers, judges or lawyers. they also asked us if we had any moral issues with being fair- according to our past experiences and they proceeded to list off about 15 more questions- where some of the jurors felt the need to belt of any random thing that they felt was half way relevent and further waster our time.
it was about 11:20 when i felt like i was going to die because i had to pee so bad. before we started to be questioned by the defendant- the honorable judge let us take a two hour recess for lunch. thank god! a recess...i didnt want to loose my spot in the parking garage or have to drive in lunch traffic- so i opted to walk down in the cold sunless weather to get a slice of chicken and tomatoe pizza and a cherry coke. i then tryed to act like eating alone didnt bother me- by reading my book but i totally hate eating alone and hurried right along. i then headed to the coffee house to kill another hour reading.
i then high steped it up back to the hall of justice to have more questions asked- that i had no response to-unless it was a yes or no question about judgement. other then that i dont know anyone of importance when it comes to the courts and i dont have any major life experiences with the court that involve further discussions.
at the end of the questions they then went back and forth with each other and eliminate 26 of us. it took about an hour and in the end-- they didn't pick me. 8 hours later and they told me not to feel bad- i just wasn't thier type.
end of day thoughts: i think i broke my butt bone sitting in the most uncomfortable chair known in man kind. and i got paid $35-$8 for parking and $1.81 for coffee and -$6 for lunch and driving about 20 miles-so all in all- i made about $10 to serve my civil duties.
but i did get to page 67 in my book and got a recess again. that was neat.