she's your cocaine
Yesterday was a first for me. I had to report to the DC District Court for jury duty. Actually, I almost completely forgot that I even had jury duty. Had it not been for the straight couple on Queer Eye meeting at jury duty, I would probably be writing this from the pokey! "Jail ain't nothing like that Tina!!"
So, it was an interesting experience to say the least. First of all, I had to get up WAY earlier than I ever get up for work. Not cute. I am definitely not a morning person, especially when you make me get up really early. I was awake at 6:30 yesterday. I can't tell you the last time I was waking up that early. However, I could probably tell you the last time I was going to bed that late. I stumbled my way through my morning routine, with one eye open, and was out the door by 7:20. I had to catch the 80 to Judiciary and I was not about to risk being late because of the games the bus plays.
I made it to the courthouse on time and got in line to check in. I then went to the jury waiting area and found a seat in the back, away from most other people. No, I was in no mood to make new friends. I slipped my head phones back on and fell asleep for at least fifteen minutes. Finally someone came in at 9:15 to show us this kick ass video from the 80s about how jury selection happens. I'm telling you, there were some FIERCE hair styles in the video. That was pretty much the only thing keeping my attention through the video.
After that, we were left to sit and wait again for the first jury pool to be announced. I started reading Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain". Yes, this is the story that the movie is based on. I enjoyed the story and have a feeling that the movie is going to be phenomenal. If only because it will make it easier for me to visualize Jake Gyllenhaal in hot gay sex. Oh, Jakey G.
So after about 50+ people were called for the first jury grouping, I sat about another 30 minutes waiting for another group to be announced. I was one of the last people called for the second group. We were lined up outside of the courtroom and then sent in according to the order in which our number was announced. While waiting in line, we were given a questionnaire that the judge would go over with us inside. We took our seats in the gallery, and then the judge gave us instructions on what to do with the form. After that, white noise was turned on in the gallery while the judge and lawyers spoke with each potential juror about any possible conflicts they had with being a juror on the case.
Oh, I guess I should back up and explain the case. It was a criminal trial against a man accused of possession of and intent to distribute cocaine. Dude was arrested at 3rd and D St. NW. Best part of it all? Yeah, the court is just a short two blocks away. Brilliant. The defense counsel brought in his two witnesses, two teenage ghetto girls. They were clearly wearing their best over-sized hoop earrings and hoodies.
So, the individual interviews with the judge seemed to take forever. I had already started and finished "Brokeback Mountain" in the first jury waiting area. Thankfully, I had brought my book along with me too. I think I read about 100 pages of "The Rules of Attraction". I will definitely have that finished this weekend. (Quick sidebar: I have been reading like a crazed man lately. I think that I have finished six books in the last month alone. Jealous of my active social life??? You and I both.)
I finally got up and spoke with the judge and lawyers. I had not answered yes to any of the questions on the form, meaning I had no potential conflicts of interest. However, I was fully expecting to recognize the defendant from the corner of 1st and U St NW right down from my house. No such luck though. The District Attorney only wanted to know what I do for a living and the judge asked what neighborhood I live in. That was it. Then I sat there for another 30 minutes while they finished questioning the other potential jurors.
After every one was done, the judge turned off the white noise and then announced the first 14 people who would possibly serve for this trial. The lawyers then eliminated about six people before finally settling on their 14. Then the judge dismissed us all back to the main office to check in. I was completely starving at this point since it was already 12:15. When we got in line, I heard the most wonderful thing I'd heard that entire day. We were free to leave and did not need to return. Woo hoo!
So, what did I do with this free afternoon? Maybe take in some of the re-worked permanent exhibits at the National Gallery? Volunteer at a soup kitchen? Nope. I went home, at lunch and then took a four hour nap. This is what you get when you wake me up before 8 AM. It still beat the hell out of being at work though.