Tuesday, August 30, 2011

5 things I learned at jury duty

1. Don't wear a belt. Because then when the security alarm goes off, you have to take off the belt and walk back thru. And then put the belt back on. And then you feel like you're getting dressed in the courthouse, which isn't really a good thing.

2. People will clip their nails in the courtroom. I find this both disrespectful and kind of gross so I wouldn't recommend it. Besides, how did those make it past security? But there was a prospective juror clipping her nails in the courtroom. Eww.

3. Real lawyers aren't like tv lawyers. Some talk just like me! I guess I expected them to talk like they were reading off a great script (or an average script) but they weren't all that eloquent. And some look like a kid playing dress-up. Or maybe that's because I'm getting older.

4. There are a lot of messed up people out there. And I'm not just talking about the ones on trial. I'm talking about the jurors and the experiences they talked about that were related to the trial. I have had a cushy life and it's good to be reminded of that and to not take it for granted.

5. Jury duty isn't as scary as you think. It is something I have been dreading because I would have to go by myself and had no idea what to expect but they explained everything thoroughly and I began to really get interested in the court proceedings and watching the lawyers decide who to let go and what questions to ask. It's fascinating for someone who likes to analyze human behavior. Then they would dismiss someone and a new name would be selected and I'd start sweating a bit, wondering if it'd be me and what they would ask me. But my name was never selected and both sides were happy with their jury so I was home in time for lunch.

I remember my dad taking me to the courthouse when I was younger - 5th grade, I think? - just to see a trial. The judge was funny and kind of sarcastic, very matter of fact. I was remembering that experience today and how much more interesting it is to actually be there instead of just reading about it. You begin to understand the implications of the whole court process and that it affects real people. It's definitely something I want to do with our kids. One more field trip to add to the list for our school year.

1 comment:

Jake Hall said...

This is great! I've always wanted to be on jury duty, but have never been selected...maybe one day. I like the idea of taking the kids to court for a day - a fairly simple yet engaging field trip. You're close enough to Lansing, too, to go see a higher court in action!