Such passionate opinions! people shared. But here's the thing--few of these people, if any, would actually want to serve on a jury. Or even be willing to.
Dodging jury duty. It's an American tradition. We'll plead anything to get out of serving this civic duty--we'll claim job hassles, childcare responsibility, a passing gas attack--almost any excuse will do, as long as we can make it believable.
The case itself was a bit anticlimactic. The "robbery" we were judging turned out to be little more than a glorified shoplifting case. I was amazed at how lousy the defense attorney's arguments were. Partly because of her poor presentation, I drove everyone crazy once we reached the jury room. My fellow jurors seemed to want to take a vote and get out of there, but I insisted on dissecting all the evidence. I think the others were afraid I was going to prolong the deliberations until Christmas. Finally we found the defendant guilty of petty theft, a far lesser crime than robbery. The accused--a young male, he looked about 19 years old--collapsed his head to his knees with relief as we read the verdict.
The writer's part of my brain soaked up every drop of the jury experience. The next time I have to craft a court scene, I'll be able to draw on real memory, not something I learned second-hand. Or, worse! from the movies. The next time I get one of those summons in the mail, I'll be back in the front row, hoping to get called.
Am I the only person who gets excited about jury duty? Have any of your jury experiences been useful in your story-telling?