Jury Duty!

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!


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  • John Hahn

    A true internal reward that this country has given has to have served on a jury.