Thursday, April 20, 2006

being a juror & never forgetting

i had jury duty the other day. does every state do this? how often do you get called? i get a jury summons every year, on the freaking dot. except for now that i moved, they said i'll get called once ever 2 years. i don't know why people hate jury duty so much. sure it has the potential to be so boring you'd rather jump off the building top than stay there another minute. but it also has the potential of being really fucking cool. everyone bitches about the day they're missing from work. WHO CARES? so you do something different that day. you take a break from your daily routine. LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WORK. and i've never understood the concept of people completely freaking out because they'll miss work for 1 whole day. oh, wah. embrace jury duty people. and for gods sake, smile about it. i think jury duty rocks because i don't have to go to work that day, i always end up meeting really cool people and i get to leave at a decent time and spend time with my kid.

what cracked me up about jury duty this time was the fact that no one would speak their grievances about the case (DUI) out loud. everyone wanted to speak to the judge privately about their "issues." yet, no one had a fucking problem telling a room full of 81 strangers their full names, where they worked, how long they've worked there, where they went to college, what their degree was in, how many kids they have and how old they are, where they live, how long they've lived there, their spouses name and place of employment. all i kept thinking was how if we had a complete pyscho among us, any one of us could be his next target (hi, here's my address and i'm at work between 8-5 everyday and so is my wife. here's the key to my house to make things easier). and it was those same people wouldn't say out loud why they couldn't be fair & impartial in a case like this. you just told me a shitload of personal information about yourself and your family, but you won't say what your issues with drunk driving are???

i wanted to take a moment to remember the columbine anniversary today. this day in 1999 completely affected me. it devastated me. it horrified me. and it broke my heart. i get like that with certain things. sometimes i just feel too deeply. this event was one of those times. i couldn't shake columbine for a long time after it happened. i was consumed by everything about it. ask my friend meg, she'll tell you. she watched me read every piece of news printed on the subject. and she witnessed my heart just aching for these kids and their families, and all those left behind to pick up the pieces. i can't really wrap my head around such horror, so i won't even pretend like i can understand it. i just want people to know i won't ever forget it. and that i still think about it..... and not just on the anniversary. hug your kids. and hug them tight.

19 comments:

Becky said...

omg i know. i was sitting in school that day. senior year. about to graduate. and in another school with other seniors they were scared shitless and horrified. its awful.

about jury duty, i hate it but only cuz i gotta drive SO far to go to it. i work in a diff county than i live in so its not like i can walk across the street like everyone else gets to do. but i dont mind it that much cuz i know i wont get picked since i work in teh courthouse:) i've only been called ONE time. thank god

Jodi said...

Hey, thanks for checking out my blog! :) And I have been on jury duty once. It was really interesting. I would totally do it again.
And yes, the Columbine thing was very very sad. SO SAD. It is very sobering when you have kids and realize what they could face at school one day...so scary. We live in a violent world!

Stephanie A. said...

I came home from Paris to visit Adam this week 7 years ago and remember Columbine so well. It affected me, too. I lived for a year without having much interaction with violence and then as soon as I step on American soil I heard about Columbine. As I prepared to move back to the US I was constantly having nightmares about being shot. I even had dreams for about 6 months after I moved home. Tragic.

Melissa said...

I'm so not over Columbine either. It scares me, cause Hubby went to school there his freshmen year. But also the Oklahoma city bombing was 10 years ago yesterday and I'll never forget that one either. I watched it for days. I feel way to much too.

And on Jury duty, I love i. Once I got to be on a case wherea guy was trying to defend himself. He'd been over the speed limit by like 40 miles in a school zone. It was to funny to here him argue his point. Once thought, I was on a jury in a child abuse case. It sucked big balls. I cried for weeks after. And it didn't help that Maya was the same age as one of the kids.

I love people watching. And a jury room or even the waiting room is a great place to do that from.

Piece of Work said...

I used to get called all the time for jury duty when I lived in SF, but I only actually had to sit on a jury once--it was a pimp, defending himself against his landlord. Hilarious in a sick sort of way. But the whole process is pretty fascinating. I got called recently again, after living in LA for 6 years, but I got out of it since I didn't have childcare.

Columbine is/was horrifying. I too read everything I could about it but never could make sense of it.

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

Columbine was that long ago? That's weird.

Jury Duty- I've been called a few times here in Southern Californian - downtown L.A. for the criminal cases, and let me tell you...that's no joy. I was put on the jury of a child-murder 5 years ago. There's nothing that haunts me more than seeing the parents and family of the little boy and the animal that had murdered him sitting a few yards away. The case was very obvious but to see lawyers play with information drove me crazy. In the end the killer was found guilty (Thank God). But there were times one or two were on the fence.
These days, I just simply through the summons in the trash…

Mel said...

Yep. Columbine got me that way, and so did the OK City bombing. Of course, my daughter was the exact same age as that poor little baby whose picture was EVERYWHERE right after the bombing; that was what hit me in the gut the hardest, I think.
Sometimes I think I'd be better off never watching the news at all, man; my husband says he only has to look at my face to know if I was watching the news that day. :|

Lisa said...

My hubby has had jury duty. It was a frustrating expereince for him. And since he missed work for several days, he was expected by his employers to basically make up all of those hours at night. So I hardly saw the man. He'd go to Jury duty, then go straight to the office. Plus, the whole ordeal was insane. A young male teacher had some inappropriate relationships with some high school girls. And many of the jury, despite hearing evidence, wanted to find him "not guilty." And my hubby was one of the few to stand his ground (very stubborn man but it can be a good thing sometimes). It was a hung jury but turns out, the guy ended up pleading guilty later on.

Alison said...

Every now and then I end up with a student who seems a little bit "off" and I think...if that little fuck up tries anything in my classroom, I'll beat his little ass! :) We just don't get paid enough...

Jury duty rules! Hours and hours of reading without interuption! :) As a teacher, I get to postpone until summer and then the school district pays me about $100 a day. Woohoo! The perks!

coffeygirlb said...

I have never understood why people are so quick to poo-poo jury duty either/. I have always though it sounded, well, fun. I love law and order, and all things lawyery, so it sounds like a cool afternoon to me. I for one have NEVER been called. Nor has anyone I know for that matter. Here's hoping though. That is very good of you to remind us of Coloumbine today. I would have not even thought about it. It still is just as heartbareaking to think about though. I just cannot even begin to imagine. I don't have kids but i'll hug my hubby real tight.

Stephanie A. said...

I've never been called, but I am dying to go. I have a friend who was called and chosen for a murder trial. She is not good with graphic things, so she can't even talk about it. I would have LOVED to be on something so crazy, though!

Kim M. said...

Hey Jen I've been called twice on standby and have never had to go. It might be nicenb to go is that weird.

I was 8 months p.g. when Columbine happened. I can't explain it but it defined my pregnancy. For some reason when I saw those brave children come running out if gave me hope. I can't explain it but if showed the human spirit to me. God Bless.

Angry Dad said...

Like you, I used to get called up all the time. I even got onto an attempted murder charge, which was an interesting case. It ended up being over really quick, because we had a hung jury, and that was the second time.
The thing I dislike is that here in Oz, you don't get to know about priors so that the case is only about "the case". In this instance, had we known all the other things this guy had done he probably would have gone down.
Great blog, really interesting, and a great Radio voice too!!

jen said...

I've never been called for jury duty....probably because I move so much. Although I wouldn't mind going.

The columbine shootings were awful. My sister teaches in Houston now and a kid put a note on her classroom door about how he wanted to kill her etc... she found out who did it and told administration and they did nothing to the kid. In this day you can't be too careful. my sister is not gonna be teaching at that school next year.

Cityslicker Mom said...

I get jury duty every year too...but the last few years I've always been able to get out of it because of my kids (darn!). Here, they have you sit in a room with like 50 other people for 8 hours and you might not even get called for the actual duty thing. People where I live dont want to do it .

Kristin said...

i have often been called for jury duty, but, seeing as I have had a not-school-age-child for most of the past 10 years, I have never served... I wouldn't mind (I think!)

Ugh, Columbine. My brother has a friend who was a student there, in the cafeteria, luck to be alive, now totally mentally fucked up.

Catherine said...

This was a great post! Columbine messed me up, too. I lived in the Columbine school district for awhile, so if I had stayed there, my kids would have ended up going to that high school, which would have sucked for my sweet, little Emma... today is her birthday. Imagine trying to celebrate your birthday on the school's saddest day?!

KaKe said...

I too never understood why people always moaned and groaned about jury duty... I think it would be super cool, to be involved in an interesting trial... then again there is the point you would have to decide on punishing someone.ugh!
Just found you, will be reading up your archives, thanks for the comment.

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