Today was an emotional draining day. I was summoned for Jury duty this week. I had to report on Tuesday for the first part of it. They had summoned 120 jurors for this case, seriously? Don’t they only need 12?! They knew it was going to be tough to fill the jury, so they summoned a lot of folks. In the final day today of questioning for the jury they had already vetted out quite a few, down to around 50. It took a good 10-20 minutes at the beginning of the week to just read the charges for the defendant as there were a total of 45 charges and that is with the judge summarizing a lof of it. It was overwhelming and as soon as they started reading the charges of the violent crimes that the defendant is charged with, I went in my head “No! I wanted a case where I was going to find fault in a traffic violation or a wrongful termination or something” just not a violent crime. As much as I was willing, and have wanted to forever, to serve and curious to see the whole system work, I still wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the details of the case.
However today, was mentally draining. Questions to the potential jury about what predetermined biases that we may have. Do you think most people agree with you? Do you think it is right? Who would choose to have this kind of a lifestyle? Does a badge make a person more credible? What determines credibility? Will your answers affect your ability to be bias and impartial? Etc etc…. and it continued for a few hours bouncing back and forth prosecution back to the defense then back to the prosecution they went a few rounds at this. There were a few people who were really grilled about their opinion as if they were the ones on trial. At one point the prosecution challenged me. I said well can’t you generalize what “most” people think. I feel that everyone thinks differently and sometimes it’s dynamic, when in the presence of certain people with certain opinions or at least their stated opinions change depending on the situation or crown they are in. One person may feel one way but say differently because of the company they are around. She challenged me saying generally most people agree on this subject don’t you think. I said “well, I can’t speak for ‘most’ people and I just don’t do that, I am not a judgmental person”. But I am here to do just that, if chosen. However my point was, we are asked to judge the LAW impartially not to judge what most people think the law should be. What really matters is what does the law says, right? In that moment I thought, wow this is going to be a tough trial and bring up a lot of uncomfortable emotions and the worst part is, I can’t talk to anyone about it until it is all over!
In the end I was not selected. I was 5 people behind the next person up. So I am relieved to not have to sit through the gory details of the violent crimes that the accused was charged with. The way I feel right now is emotionally drained. I have actually considered cancelling my day tomorrow. I am a social person I like to be around people and right now I don’t really feel like being around people. I am so glad I don’t have to spend the next three weeks feeling like this! One thing I do know is true that the judicial system is working. At least in our community we have 100% show up rate for the jurors so that a defendant can get a fair trial by a truly impartial jury. Apparently that is not the case in other communities people just don’t show up. I think one thing that helps is there are a lot of employers in this community that will pay employees their regular wages while serving on jury duty so there is less people who have hardships so they can be selected and it can truly be a good diverse jury of peers not just those who don’t have jobs.
Tonight would be a night, with the way I feel, that I would eat a full box of Girl Scout Cookies and drink a whole bottle of Champagne or wine to drown my feelings and emotions. However, it is still “Dry January” and I am living the no carb life. So I have had to come to grips with the shitty feeling that there are some bad things that happen in the world and it is not always an easy judgement. (I avoid news stories and dramatic CSI type TV shows for a reason) but life still goes on. Tomorrow, I still have a birthday party, 3 massages and a slew of other things to do tomorrow. You must go on with life. You must get up and put your best foot forward with a smile on your face, well you don’t HAVE to smile I just think it helps! Good sex also helps, so tonight since there is no alcohol or chocolate option, sex is it! I may redo this weeks Hump Day Challenge….
Go forward, continue and live life to the fullest everyday!