Jury duty is considered an essential service that needs to be completed by all U.S. citizens. Many people dread the day that they will receive that hard-paper summons in the mail. However, there are a few number of people who considerably enjoy performing this so-called patriotic service.
I am not one of those people.
There are two different types of juries: grand juries and trial juries. A grand jury decides whether to bring charges against a person in a suspected crime, where they will decide whether to vote a true bill (indict) or a dismissal. Generally there are no defending attorneys in grand juries.
Trial juries are presented by a judge with the prosecutor and defense attorney, where the jury decides on the facts of the case. Trial juries are not as flexible and relaxed as grand juries, where trial juries cannot see all evidence (only those selected and presented to them) + their decision is the final decision, unlike grand jurors.
The issue with grand juries is how easily the prosecutor get the better end of the stick. With minimum dedication and limited mental capabilities, jurors are typically made up of the so-called “working” class, who are too pre-occupied with thoughts such as “When do we get paid?” “When do I get to debate?” “What’s an indictment?” to even pay attention to the life-threatening details of each case – especially when on an extended grand jury, which can be for months.
Jurors would fall asleep in their chairs, fumble around their plastic and paper bags as the court reporter listens (as the jurors do not) furiously through the intentional, but unnecessary circus noise and side conversations.
If it’s not nosey jurors who speak about the case in between breaks, it’s even more ridiculously curious jurors who try to get all the names of the jurors on the attendance sheet (hey, is that even legal?). Jurors will inevitably have biases and prejudices, but not on those being charged, but the jurors themselves.
Even if you tell the judge, warden and the ADAs you’re a racist mother who’s unemployed (with proof), jury duty has a special place for you.
You enter a cold-temperature court-house and allow yourself to be surrounded by cold-blooded novice prosecutors and lackadaisical jurors, who are convinced their dedication to the “Supreme” court is for the better good.
Fortunately, the ADAs might be as young as the youngest juror and often make (honest, I swear) mistakes while delivering evidence and witnesses. Undercover pigs spill the beans on how they entrapped the defendant during their course of being an informant.
Hearing the chains and the groans of perceived criminals, outside of the court-house, would give chills to anyone who has a soul.
Jury duty, though, is kind enough to give their summoned citizens some kind of gift, of roughly forty US dollars a day, if unemployed or if their employment does not pay for service days, regardless of how short or long the stay is. Luckily, if you have trouble saving money, pay roll does not send out checks until 6 weeks after service is completed. At least you don’t have to return to that ghastly court-house for another 8-10 years.
The judge advises people to let their families + friends know jury duty isn’t too bad.
I’d avoid, though.