Jury Duty Calls

I opened the envelope and stared at my “SUMMONS FOR PETIT JUROR.”

Hey! Who are you calling ‘petit’?

I assume this just differentiates my service from that of a grand juror. Considering the number of times I’ve heard it said, “a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich,” I’ll stick with this.

I have been summoned to Superior Court in New Haven. To quote the State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch website: “The Superior Court hears civil, criminal, family and juvenile matters.”

It is to the court system as Wal*Mart is to retail – a little of everything.

There’s a checklist of all those ineligible to serve. Too old – no service. No English – no service. Not a resident – no service. Felony conviction – no service. If a judge found that “I exhibit a quality which will impair my ability to serve – no service.

There’s even a discrete checkbox for the governor and other top state officials to disqualify themselves. You don’t want that crew making difficult decisions!

Jury duty appearance time is 8:00 AM. Even worse, it’s 8:00 AM EDT (Hawaiian time would have been fine and should be an option)! What are they thinking? If I’m going to be a juror who is somebody’s peer, shouldn’t that somebody be nocturnal?

Truth is, I’d love to serve on a jury. I like seeing how the sausage is made. No one will deny I’m judgmental. I’m just not sure how attorneys will view me.

Luckily, the court is pretty flexible as far as rescheduling is concerned. I say that because jury duty is set for my birthday! We’ll be in Philadelphia, seeing the Phillies play the night before. There’s no reasonable way to get back to New Haven in time.

Nobody wants a cranky juror.

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