Thursday, February 26, 2009

Four Days of Jury Duty
Sunday evening I dialed the number on my jury summons hoping and praying that I would just need to call in the following days. No such luck. "Please report to the Compton Courthouse at 7:45 am." I was not really happy about this since this was the week our Banner consultant was coming... well, what do you do, right? I left the house at 6:30 AM Monday morning with the Google directions in hand (since I have never been anywhere close to Compton before and didn't want to get lost). It took me an hour to get there since traffic on the 91 was pretty bad. Once I got there I went up to the 2nd floor to report for duty. I would guess that there were a couple hundred people in the jury waiting room. After an entertaining orientation we sat and waited... and waited... finally right before lunch I was called and told to report to the 4th floor right after lunch. I ate lunch in the cafeteria with Gloria, a friendly, talkative, Mexican lady who works for Kaiser. After lunch our group reported to Department 3 in the 4th floor and so the loooooooooong jury selection process began. This took place until 4:30 PM and they still weren't done. On Tuesday the jury selection process continued and finally at the end of the day we had 12 jurors and 1 alternate. Since there was no time to begin opening arguments the Commissioner asked us to return on Wednesday at 1:30 PM. Wednesday, after a bit of a delay, we started by listening to the opening arguments by the prosecution and defense and then they called the first witness. That took the rest of the time until 4:15 PM. Once again we were told to report back at 1:30 PM on Thursday to continue hearing the witness testimonies. I worked in the morning and then drove again over to the courthouse looking forward to another day. We all filed in and took our seats then the Commissioner announced that the principle witness was not able to appear and so the trial couldn't continue and was thrown out. "Thanks for doing your duty. You are dismissed!" This was a bit disappointing because I was actually looking forward to this whole experience. But I guess it was the defendant's lucky day. All in all it was a different and interesting experience and I met some really nice and friendly people like Jennie, Barbara and Eileen (the lady in waiting!).

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