Dear Jury Administrator

Dear Jury Administrator,

Why do you insist on repeatedly calling me for jury duty?  And where exactly are you getting my name anyway?  Because I note that the last three summonses had three distinct variations of my name.  So I can only guess that I have been given multiple chances at being selected from various databases.

You may know that I hate jury duty, especially since I usually get called for criminal court.  I do not like criminal court.  I especially dislike it because I am usually mistaken for a criminal when I enter.  Yes, I am.  There is nothing more threatening or dangerous than a sack lunch, by the way. Good thing you’re holding up the line while you’re carefully and unsanitarily inspecting all my food items.  What am I going to eat now, by the way?

After an extended period of time, another bailiff came over and suggested I was probably a juror.  Yes I am.  That apparently stops the search right there.  But they yell at you if you stand around by security and watch who is getting stopped.  Ten bucks says you can guess who.

Also, if you have separate lines for gender during screening it would be a good idea to post a sign.  Otherwise unwary people might get in the wrong line and wait for a very long time before getting to the front, only to be told they are in the wrong line.  Ahem.

I have been lectured at least twice when arriving for jury duty.  Once because my clothes were thought to be inappropriate.  I was wearing clean but old clothes because I was just in your courtroom a while back and it was really dirty.  And once because I arrived 15 minutes late.  I am sorry about this, but rush hour traffic is extremely intense here.  I left almost three hours before my scheduled time.  That’s the best I can do.  Sorry.

And why did you ask me if I am a U.S. citizen?  It’s right there on the juror information form.  Also, I noticed you didn’t ask the people in front of me.  Should I have answered “no”?  Would I have been able to go home?  What about when you asked if I understand the English language?

In addition, where are you getting all these people who have never been a victim of a crime?   Where do they live?  I want to live there too.  The last time I watched the voir dire, I was stunned by all the people who had managed to evade this.  One guy enthusiastically offered that his wife’s car had been stolen and he felt that was a crime against him as well.  That was it.

The guy sitting next to me was equally astounded.  He told me that his son had been murdered.  Kind of put my life right into perspective.

Also, why do you ask people to recount their own crimes in front of 100+ other people?  Isn’t there a more sensitive way to do this?  I felt really bad for the woman sitting in the front row who was very upset by this question.  It turned out that she had been arrested for curfew violation.  Seriously.

And why do you insist on calling me during grossly inconvenient periods of my life?  I find it interesting that people can get excused because they have a scheduled vacation, but not because they are self-employed and will not make any money while in court.  Why did you call me recently when I was signed up for a big volunteer commitment and had also invited people over for dinner?  I guess I can’t complain because a family member got a summons for the day he died.  I wrote a note but he still gets a summons every now and again.  Apparently death is only a one-time excuse.

Finally, I am especially astounded that you bother to call me for jury duty because there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell I’m ever going to get picked.  You can tell by the way the attorneys whisper to each other while I’m being asked questions. I’ve been kicked for cause and I’ve used up some of the peremptory challenges.  Let’s face it.  Nobody wants me on a jury.  So why do we even have to go through the motions?

Maybe I should send a request to be excused and include a link to the blog.

Ranting off.

4 thoughts on “Dear Jury Administrator

  1. How strange. When your name comes up in the UK, you do the service. There is no picking of jurors by lawyers based on their suitability. A jury of your peers is a jury of a representative slice of society chosen at random.

  2. Good letter! Nothing like a good rant to start off the day.

    I’m not wanted on juries because of my father being a retired police officer. I guess they think I’d be biased a particular way. Their loss – they should take the time to ask me a few more questions, they’d find out they should’ve kept me.

  3. Well, this is one part of the citizen’s experience I’ve been happy to do without so far. So far, so good, ha-ha.

    Thats some pretty shocking luck with all those callups though.

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