I have never in my entire 49, almost 50, years of life served on a jury of any kind. I’ve never gotten a grand jury summons before. Why? Apparently, school age people, including college students, can’t sit on a grand jury. The excuse is the course loads and class times. Be that as it may, I received a grand jury summons, and I went to the Polk County Judicial Center today to anwer it.
I was nervous. I didn’t want to get picked but then again, I did. I was half asleep from having to work until midnight Thursday night and not being able to sleep when I got home – for a lot of reasons. The judge went over all the rules and guidelines, read over what could disqualify us for duty and what other excemptions could be used to get us out of serving. I just waited,
Finally, the cards with our names and contact information were shuffled and 16 cards were drawn: 12 jurors and 4 alternates. I was not only the second person chosen, I was made assistant foreman – in case something happened to the main foreman. We were all sworn in, introduced to the prosecutors who would be presenting their cases to us and were given last minute intructions.
The judge then left, and the DA for the county started the ball rolling. My main job is to listen to the cases presented and, based on what information I’m given(along with the rest of the jury), I’m supposed to decide two things: 1) is there enough evidence to move forward to trual or 2) there’s not enough evidence, the prosecutor needs to go get us more.
We went through 48 cases, and all but 2 were moved on to trial. I learned a lot about our judicial system as it pertains to my county. It was a pleasant experience, and I have to go back again next month. I’m looking forward to it.
See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel or sonic screwdriver!