Monday, February 7, 2011

This is jury duty

I always get nervous for jury duty.  Today was no exception.  And much to my dismay, things haven't really changed that much in the way they herd you through at the Justice Center in Benton County.  Power is still the rule of thumb in this environment. 

Like always, I arrived early because you never know the unknown and you are much better off being there on time to get a feel for the landscape.  We were seated in the jury orientation room,  this is after you  take a tunnel and an elevator to get there.  Everyone checks in with a gal on the computer as they scan your jury number.  If you don't get in line, she will find you.  I chatted with a couple interesting gentlemen, one was a box maker for Boise (formerly Boise Cascade), the other the meat manager at Yoke's.  It was the highlight of my morning.

Then it's time to sit.  An hour and twenty minutes to be exact.  We received our jury numbers to put on our chest so it could be visibly seen by everyone.  One of the bailiffs handed them out and then went back for another cup of coffee.

Judge Matheson sat in for Judge Swisher and gave us our orientation because of a hearing that ran long.  He told us to focus on the importance of deciding "what happened" rather than getting caught up in what the attorneys from both sides will say.  "The witness testimony is the most important aspect", he said.

Ten minutes after Judge Matheson gave his orientation, Judge Swisher came up and informed us we could go home.  It was 9:30am, an hour and a half after we sat down.  The defendant did not show up for her trial and the judge informed us they issued a warrant for her arrest.

It sounds like this happens all the time.

So I'm off for the rest of the week.  We were instructed to call-in Friday after 5:00 pm to see if our number comes up.

This is jury duty.