Last week, I had the first-time-ever experience of criminal jury duty. It was a case of retail theft. The trial started at about 10:00 am and lasted several hours. Some lessons if you’re on trial:
- Never, ever even think about stealing something from a big box store. The store that was victimized in our case has 30 cameras running and key moments were captured and shown to the jury.
- That pleasant-looking person standing close to you may very well be the store’s security person who has seen every trick in the book that a shoplifter has ever tried–or thought about trying.
- Even the best defense lawyer can be of little use to you if you intentionally walk out of a store without paying for something.
- Dress up a bit. Meet the jury at least halfway in terms of appearance.
- If the jury deliberates for less than a few minutes — probably not a good sign.
If you’re a juror:
- Some of your fellow jurors are people you would never have encountered otherwise, but could probably become good friends if given the chance.
- Enjoy the experience of having people stand up for you when you and the other jurors walk into the courtroom. Makes you feel downright presidential!