I was surprised to receive my first jury duty summons soon after my eighteenth birthday. I knew that jury duty was a possibility now that I was officially an adult, but it did not seem like something people my age often experienced. My first thought was that I wanted to get out of it as quickly as I could, but as a student on summer break, I couldn’t get out of my duty without a bench warrant.
Getting Settled at Jury Duty
I arrived at the courthouse the morning of my summons. I parked in the parking garage I was told to park in with my jury summons and brought my ticket in with me for validation. I walked for five minutes to get to the courthouse, and I had to stand in a long, quick moving security line.
After security, I found the room I was assigned to and checked into the front desk. I was given a jury questionnaire – four pages of forms to fill out. I was surprised by how personal some of the questions on the form were. They asked about my experience with the law, my family’s experience with the law, and my thoughts about the police in general. I answered as honestly as possible.
The Day Long Wait
Once my forms were filled out and all the late jurors arrived, we watched a film about the importance of jury duty. For the first time that day, I felt annoyed. I felt like I was back in high school. The juror film was not informative. It was mostly just propaganda about the importance of jury duty. I felt like we all already agreed on that, or else we wouldn’t have been there.
After the movie, I waited as groups of jurors were called for their cases. I was surprised after a couple hours that I hadn’t been called yet. We broke for lunch at noon sharp,and I was able to go home for lunch. I returned promptly at 1PM. There were not many people left waiting with me at that point, and we continued to wait for hours. At around 4PM, we were told that we could go home for the day. Our duty had been fulfilled. The trial we had been assigned to settled at the last minute.
A Disappointing Outcome
While I was relieved that I didn’t have to serve on an extended trial, I felt disappointed by my day of jury duty. It felt like a waste of time. I didn’t learn anything, except how to wait in a room with strangers all day. I wished that my city had figured out a way to get jurors to wait remotely. I fulfilled my duty, which was the most important thing, but there was nothing exciting or interesting about it.