Thursday, November 06, 2014

Jury Selection

Today, after two days of continuous briefing from a judge regarding the rules of Jury Duty I was excused as they found the 14 jurors they needed for the case. Though I was not looking forward to serving on the Jury for a month, I have to admit I am a little disappointed by the fact that I was not selected. As disruptive as it might be to my daily routine, the experience of watching criminal proceedings is something that I think would be an eye opener regarding how the world works.

We are so caught up in our daily lives that we never stop to think about the world around us. But the last couple of days made me stop and think about it (as I had nothing other than that to do in the court while the proceedings were in progress). The fact that there are people in going to the judicial system with everything else in their life at a complete standstill makes you wonder how much you take your daily life for granted.

As I watched the defendant sitting there I wondered how odd it would be if I found myself in that position one day amidst all the daily stuff that I go through. This man could not make bail and so he is actually in jail waiting for the trial. So even though he has not been proven guilty he serves time in jail waiting for justice to be served with everything else in his life in a holding pattern.

The other amazing part about jury selection is all the things to hear from the jurors. It amazes me to know the amount of stuff people experience in their lives that emotionally roil them to a point where they cannot be composed while recounting it. The number of people who have had run in with the law and the number of people who have biases that we only hear of on TV.

Either way, it was a great experience to stop running for two days and listen to a completely different perspective on our society from people so diverse. I have to say, for all its inefficiencies, the jury system is great. Even the 14 people selected today were so diverse in their background that they couldn't possible interpret the evidence in a similar fashion. It gives the defendant a chance to be evaluated by an array of his peers rather than a single judge.

I hope justice prevails.....

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