Friday's Jury Duty

Friday was a pretty boring day, sitting around at the Justice Center (the postmodern terminology for "courthouse"). I spent most of the day waiting around, until we were all finally called up to the courtroom. There was only one judge working Friday, and everything on the docket had been settled by plea bargaining except for one case. We stood in the hallway outside the courtoom for about ten minutes, then they led us in. I noted with some interest that the sign on the door said "Felony Court." The judge quickly informed us that he had only brought us in to tell us "hi" and "bye," because the final case had just been settled. A good thing too, as he told us that if the case had gone in front of a jury, it would have been a two-day case.

One other oddity I noticed while waiting around: All of the other prospective jurors in my group were white. The jury pool in our county is selected from driver's license registrations, so you can't get out of jury duty by just not registering to vote. There were somewhere between 40 and 50 of us present (and some 250 others had not had to come in). And yes, there are a lot of minorities living in the county. Might just have been a quirk in the system, but I certainly wouldn't have wanted to have been a prosecutor trying a minority defendant if everyone in the prospective jury pool was white, because I'm sure any defense attorney worth his salt would have used that as grounds for an appeal of any conviction.