This past week I had an experience that I never anticipated having in my life. I was selected to sit on a jury for a civil case. From beginning to end, it was an interesting process (although, certainly one that I hope is never repeated). Right up until they called my number I never actually believed that I would be chosen. I mean, I just don't do things like that. I never get picked for things. So when the judge called out number 16, I was stunned. They had the seven of us move into the jury box and take the oath. All through this I was trying so hard to keep from laughing. I mean, what the heck? For the whole rest of the day, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I was hearing the lawyers give their opening statements and question witnesses but it just felt like I was watching from the outside.
The next day (the whole thing lasted three days), I was a little bit more comfortable. One of the things that surprised me the most was that the whole trial really revolved around the jury. If one of us needed to use the restroom or just needed a break, there would be a recess. We heard about 7 hours of expert testimony on Tuesday. Needless to say, it was pretty dry and in my opinion, redundant but that's neither here nor there. At the end of the day, if I never heard the words "consussion", "neurologist" or "cognitive thinking" again, that would be alright.
Wednesday was the day that it was all supposed to over. We heard a few more testimonies and the closing statements. Around 1:00, we began to deliberate. Now that was an experience. Seven complete strangers having to reach an unanimous verdict. Yeah, ok. Surprisingly, out of a scale of one to ten, I would give us an 8. We took turns, listened to each other (and as I preschool teacher, how exciting) and after about four hours, reached a verdict. Everyone entered the courtroom, and the judge read our decision. It all took about ten minutes and then we got to leave. That was it.
I have one more day this month that I have to report for jury selection. I hope my luck has run out......