I did the usual moan and groan when I saw a jury duty summons in the mail.
I wasn’t picked for any cases despite being there most of the day but I’ve covered enough court cases to see the same three types of people show up to the court house:
The “I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid selection” juror
This person shows up and pretends to be there for “civic duty” but get the person inside that courtroom with the real prospect of having to serve and he or she will do anything to avoid sitting through a trial.
This person’s hand is raised on every question that has to do with bias toward the case.
Judge: The case you’re about to hear today is a first degree murder trial. Is there anyone who feels they cannot deliberate on this case with impartiality?
(Juror raises his hand)
Judge: Juror #27?
Juror #27: MY ENTIRE FAMILY’S BEEN MURDERED.
Keep in mind that just because you don’t get picked for one case does not mean you won’t be considered for a second case later that day. That’s when you have to start covering all of your bases:
Judge: This is a first degree assault case that was investigated as a homophobic hate crime. Is there anyone who feels they cannot deliberate on this case with impartiality? Juror #27?
Juror #27: I HATE RACISTS AND/OR THE GAYS
Judge: The gays?
Juror #27: ….
Juror #27: I HATE THE RACISTS AND/OR THE GAYS?
The “This is some bullshit” juror
This is the person who regressed into childhood and launched into a full fledged temper tantrum upon receiving a jury summons in the mail. This is also the same person who can’t stop complaining once they’re inside about how unfair it is that he or she was picked. That argument may be valid if you’re a single mom with a shitty job and kids in daycare but if you’re someone like me with zero kids and you’re still bitching it’s annoying.
I tried to get some sleep in the jury lounge after trying in vain for 40 minutes to connect to the free wi-fi. Every time I shut my eyes the woman next to me began talking.
Her: I hate this
((EYES OPEN. Head nod. Eyes shutting….eyes shutti—))
Her: I want to leave
The “Time to share my life story with you” juror
Generally, everyone is pretty quiet inside of a jury selection room and keeps to him or herself. But there’s always going to be those two seat mates who strike up a conversation. Somehow in the course of their banter they manage to share where they work, where they live and the last four digits of their Social Security Numbers. It is almost guaranteed they will brag about their children. It is guaranteed they’ll share some embarrassing shit about them:
Woman 1: At least I don’t have to worry about day care. My son is 12-years-old.
Woman 2: Get out of here. I got two 8-year-old twin girls but my oldest son is 12.
Woman 1: God I hope he still doesn’t wet the bed like mine.
Woman 2: Oh my God. Every night. Every morning we wake up to smell of his pee and the sound of his tears.
Woman 1 (whispers): My husband I begged his school’s registrar to switch him to another social studies class cause the kids were calling him “Sir Piss-A-Lot.” His teacher said they were singing, “I like to piss and I cannot lie. This mattress cover can’t deny” every day before class started.
Woman 2 (shakes her head): That is a shame. Kids are so cruel these days.
Jury Coordinator: We need jurors 34 through 78.
Woman 1: I’m #35. Give me your number. We need to talk bleach.