Monday, June 10, 2013

Murphy's Law

I have received a summons to appear for jury duty at least four times in the past six years. Each time, the trial has been cancelled and I have not had to appear, so, when I got a summons last month; I assumed that I would, once again, dodge the jury bullet.

Did you just hear the universe laughing? Yeah.

Because I clearly don't understand the finer points of Murphy's Law, I went about my life, making appointments and scheduling meetings for all day today. When I called the jury hot line last night and discovered that the trial was, indeed, scheduled to go on; I got to panic over how to reschedule my entire day.

Good times.

I reported to the courthouse at 8:00 a.m. I then spent two hours watching other people being called up to the jury box, questioned, and either retained or dismissed. At one point, the gentleman sitting next to me commented on the large pool for this particular jury (there were probably sixty people in the courtroom waiting) and I blithely joked about how that increased our odds of not being called, like, dramatically, ha, ha.

So, you can guess what happened next.

We both got called to the jury box within thirty minutes of one another.

Murphy's Law, remember?

The case that was being tried was a sexual assault on a minor by a person in a position of trust and Murphy's Law kicked in once again when neither the fact that I currently work with children who have often been abused, nor the fact that my husband is a police officer, was enough to sway the defense to dismiss me for cause.

Instead, I came thisclose to actually having to sit on the four-day trial.

How close?

It was 3:00 p.m. and we were down to a handful of potential jurors still in the waiting area before the defense attorney finally used his third peremptory challenge to excuse me from service. The challenge came after I expressed the honest concern that I might not be able to remain completely objective should he place a child on the witness stand and then proceed to bully that child during testimony, and, had I known that would be all it took to get myself excused, I would have stated that fact much earlier.

That said;  I am glad that I had the opportunity to go through the process and I do hope that, one day, I will get a chance to serve through a trial. I was just glad that it wasn't this particular trial.

Also, I am totally going to bone up on Murphy's Law, just for future reference.

1 comment:

Brian said...

As soon as you catch up on the nuances of Murphy's law, they're all going to change. Because? Murphy's Law.