50 or More Jurors Waiting Jury SelectionCredit: Steve Bott, Wikipedia Org

 About 50 prospective jurors waiting jury selection

Before serving jury duty, I assumed jury duty was easy.  I thought,  “I can do that.”  I discovered after serving,  it  is  not necessarily as easy as some might think.     I have  actually served jury duty  about 2 times. 

When you receive  a subpoena to serve jury duty, you receive a  telephone number to call the evening before each day  to see if they need you for a court case.  Depending on  the court case, you may call the telephone number daily and never be needed on a case.  When you report for jury duty,  be sure that you are  there on time.  Usually instructions are given with the subpoena  where to park.  Generally the jurors have a special area where they park.  You might want to bring something  to read.  At first I did not understand why I would  want to bring something to read.  Then after I got there I realized there were several jurors about  30 or more sitting around waiting to see if they get picked for jury duty.

 The court will generally take the jurors to lunch.  I enjoyed the free lunches.  I remember once the parking area was some distance from the courthouse and it was so cold walking to the courthouse.    According to the 14 district court of Michigan juror’s will receive $12.00 for  half day and $25.00 for  a full day.  Also, if you work a full-time job your employer is still expected to pay you.  You can also get paid .10 mileage.

There have been times during the court case when the judge asked jurors to leave the room  while there are other discussions.

 Some of the judges are very funny.  They may come in between court cases and tell a joke  to keep you laughing.    You may even see people there that you know. 

As a juror I recall looking at pictures from the court  case.   Some of the pictures were quite  gruesome.  You may also be instructed to not discuss the case with anyone outside of the court room.   Before deliberation the judge will instruct you to base decisions on the evidence not on how you  feel.  

One case that I served as juror  was for a traffic violation.  That case did not last long and was very swift. 

The other  case that I was a juror for was a rape and hijacking case.  As I observed the pictures from the court  case, the woman had not one but 2 black eyes.  It was surprising during the course of the case when  a classroom of children came in .   They were possibly middle-school age, but quite young.  I was very surprised, because this particular day  there was sexual information discussed referring to the  accused genitalia and the  rape itself.  Some of it I thought the young people possibly did not need to hear.

The one week that I served, I was completely exhausted afterward.  I would be drained the end of each day.  I had no idea jury duty could be so exhausting.  If I was this exhausted, I could imagine how I might feel serving as a juror on a murder case.  At the time of the case, you would be asked to turn off your cell phone.  Since that time, cell phones are not allowed in the courthouse. 

 The attorney asked me about   another case.  It was about  a breaking and entering of a house.    The judge discovered I sold Avon.  He asked, “Is that the company that has the pink Cadillac?”  The court reporter replied, “No , that is Mary Kay.”  Everyone in the court  room laughed  hysterically.   The court room was full that day also.  Although, I would have really liked to serve on this case, I had former  plans.   The judge asked why I could not serve.  I explained I had purchased air tickets to leave the state.  I did not know if he would let me out of this or not.  I sat there waiting patiently.   He then told me, they really wanted to use me as a juror, but he would let me go on the trip.   Everyone in the  packed courtroom started clapping.  I clapped also.  You cannot imagine how relieved I was.   There are other  instances when  dismissal from jury duty might occur. When I was 8 months pregnant, the court dismissed me  from jury duty.  They gladly dismissed me.