The Jury Duty Experience

If you’ve never been to Jury Duty I can give you a pretty first hand experience of making it to the final 7 people and, luckily*, not getting added to jury. I get to the Criminal Justice Center a bit before 8 when we are asked to arrive at 8:15. Parking is going to cost me 28 bucks but I literally parked directly next to the court house so that was convenient. I didn’t bring my phone in but there was nothing prohibiting you from doing so. I check in and I’d guess along with 150 other people you file into one big room. In unbelievable fashion I somehow become Juror #2 out of 60 other people sent to a different room. In this 2nd room they show you a video on how to fill out the questionnaire and then ask you to fill it out. You give the the questionnaire back and then they come back and start eliminating people based on the answers. I assume if you check something like you are on drugs or something, you get dismissed. I answered all my questions honestly and moved on to the next round.

Juror #2 then led the way into the court room (along with 30 others or so) where we meet the prosecution, the defendants, the judge, and the criminals. They go through some broad questions and eliminate people with hardships and other issues with not being able to be a juror. Then they lead about 25 of us into one room. At this point I became juror #1 because the real 1 was dismissed and they asked 7 of us to move to the panel so the judge and the lawyers can ask some questions. Out of the every single person I kick things off with the judge asking me questions about my schooling, my background, my roommates work, and where I’m from. Then the lawyers ask me questions to confirm that I’m able to give a their clients a fair trial. I answered everything honestly and even though these two guys who were there for homicide looked exactly how I would picture murderers, I said I could give them a fair trial. We did this for the 7 potential jurors and they picked 3 of the 7 to actually be jurors for the trial. Talk about getting down to the skin of my teeth.

They dismissed me and I ended up getting a bombass cheese steak from the Reading Terminal market at a place called ByGeorge and then went back to the room to wait out the remainder of the day which finished at about 2 or 2:30. I was paid 9 dollars for the day. Even though it would have been pretty cool to be a juror for a homicide case, I wouldn’t have been scared or nervous at all. I actually think I would have done a good job. I assume I wasn’t picked because of either my level of education or the fact that they could sense in me I lacked compassion for the murderers. It was pretty interesting though and I can say I’ve had the experience. Definitely bring a book though because there is a ton of downtime waiting and waiting for slow things to happen. I finished about 100 pages in the 5 hour span to give you an idea of how often you aren’t doing anything.