Thursday, February 16, 2012

Free Fall of Juror Three

Yesterday morning I bustled and dashed, too busy to blog.
It was my third day as Juror Number Three.
I had a special badge that opened special doors, my own designated parking spot, my own special stenographer’s notebook with ‘3’ written on the front,  my own chair and a personal restroom I need share with only a few other women.
Yesterday, whenever I approached the courtroom, the bailiff would demand ‘All Rise for the Jury’, and indeed, all, including the attorneys and the judge, would rise.
I listened to testimony. I observed, pondered, took notes, kept an open and impartial mind. 
I made friends with fellow jurors, I drank coffee prepared by my own personal bailiff.
The plaintiff and defense rested. All that remained: Instruction to the jury and final arguments. But first, it must be determined which of the 14 of us were the 2 alternates.
This was decided by picking 2 names at random from a bowl. 
The first name was called and it wasn’t mine. 
I now had a 12- in-13 chance of not being the second alternate.
Please note:when there is a 1-in-13 chance of my name being chosen as winner of anything, I lose. Regularly.
The second name pulled from the bowl was mine.

Immediately everything changed. I was hustled from the courtroom and directed to have no contact with my ex-fellow jurors. I was relieved of my badge and my steno notebook, reminded that I now had to use the public restroom, and shown the front door.
I was ex-Juror Number Three.
This morning I am just one more prude amongst millions, wondering how my ex-fellow jurors are doing, if my ex-bailiff made the coffee stronger and if the defense attorney wore a different tie.
Mostly I wonder how the jury will find. How the verdict will change life for some of the people involved. 
It was a privilege and honor and daunting responsibility to be Juror Number Three. 
I dislike being Ex-Juror Number Three. 
But life as a Prude is pretty good, the sun is shining and I hope someday I’ll be able to serve again as Juror Number Something.  


Lori Lipsky said...

It's interesting to hear details of the process from you, ex-juror number 3.

Since you had to turn in your steno pad, does that mean your notes and doodles had to be released to "them," too?? No multi-tasking and writing Prude blogs as you listened?

Thanks for sharing.

Robin J. Steinweg said...

You may be but one among millions of prudes, my dear, but you're a rare one!

Besides, to your friends, you are Prude #1, first and always, and you'll never be "ex'd!"

Suef said...

How fun it would be to have a way with words like you and the other commenters. But I love reading it all and that is fun too! Sorry you are x#3 but I sure missed Prudie yesterday.

Emilie McWilliams said...

I have also been an "alternate" jury! It was disappointing having my say taken away (especially after a 7 day trial!) but I definitely wouldn't trade the experience of serving and getting a window into the world of the courtroom. As you said, it's a daunting responsibility but also an honor.

(Also, sorry for creeping on your blog--mom sent me a link to it :) )

Joanie said...

What an opportunity even though you didn't get to render a verdict. Sorry you are now an "ex".