The first time I was called for jury duty I was 19 years old. I mean seriously? What 19 year old gets called for jury duty? I didn’t even have a stable job and here I was having to attend mandatory jury duty only to be paid $25 at the end of an eight-hour shift. Ridiculous. Needless to say, I was shocked that they would serve me and a little pissed off that I didn’t have a choice in the matter.
The ironic thing is that someone one who loves the law. Or I should say someone that loves to argue the law. There have definitely been times where I asked myself why I never went to law school. People tell me all the time that I should have been a lawyer. Then I would have gone to school for way longer than I could bear, end up with a ton more student loan debt than I already have, and it would stress me out. I would much rather stay at home being a mock jury and writing investigative journalism.
To make matters worse, just two hours after arriving at jury duty I was called upon. Everyone told me it was unlikely that they would pick me because of my age and the fact that it was my first time. They were wrong. So I headed up to the third floor along with 50 other juries hoping that I wouldn’t get picked to serve. We waited in the hallway outside the courtroom for another two hours before heading inside.
At this point, I’m tired and crabby (mostly because I had to pay an unnecessary amount of money for parking that I knew I wouldn’t get back being there all day). And I want to go home. When we finally make it inside we had to sit and listen to the details of the case before jury selection. It was a first-degree murder case. What county puts a 19-year-old without a steady job or a college degree on a jury? And for three weeks at that? Is it just me or does that seem completely irrational?
After eleven juries were selected I was hoping they wouldn’t call my name. And they did. You’ve got to be kidding me. Seriously. A murder trial. I already think he’s guilty so this isn’t going to work. Ultimately I figured I was SOL. They asked all of their questions which I answered honestly and I was two seconds away from serving as a jury in a murder trial. The judge asked us if we were absolutely sure there wasn’t anything we hadn’t said. And that’s when I cracked. I just blurted out, “I can’t do this. I can’t look beyond a reasonable doubt when the evidence is circumstantial.” Facts smacks, that’s my motto.