As you probably expect, I can't talk about what the trial is about except that it is about ____ and that ___ is the defendant who has been charged with _____ by _____
Without breaking the law, I thought I'd shed some light on what the process has been like as it was a first for me as well.
Bring something to read! And an iPod if you can. I can almost guarantee you that in the group of 50+ candidates, *someone* will be yapping on their phone. You first check in at the jury assembly room and wait there until the courtroom is ready for your group. That will be the first time you see the judge, clerk, the amazing person who records everything in some weird keyboard (I am still amazed at that person!), the bailiff, attorneys and the defendant.
The end goal for them is to select 12 jurors and some alternate jurors. In our case (no pun intended), it took them just 1 working day. Eighteen people were called initially (into the box) and then for any of the following reasons, jurors are "excused", new ones are called into the box, repeat and rinse, until we have the 12 + alternates.
- You can be excused if the judge agrees that you'll suffer financial difficulties or that people around you might not be able to live w/o your presence during the day time. Fortunately, Apple is *very* generous and pay up to 12 weeks of pay while we're on jury duty and that Jean and Charlie can do just fine for 8 hours on their own.
- If you have a "pre-existing" (what the judge called it) condition, such as a planned vacation trip during trial time with tickets bought already.
- If you answer to any of the questions which either the judge or the attorneys find that you might be biased against either side. The judge will always ask you at the end of those questions if you can put "that" aside and look at this case subjectively. Lots of people tried real hard and they eventually got off.
Now, this is the fun part and it has only been one day. All I can say is that all the episodes of SVU that Jean got me addicted to is coming live in front of my eyes. I'm not even exaggerating, but this is really how they speak in the court room.
"May I approach the witness, your honor?"So wish me luck and hope you enjoyed reading this while I and my fellow jurors strangely stares at the defendant for the coming days.
"Can the People move the exhibit A into evidence?"
"CSI this.. CSI that.." It appears that CSI will be in our regular vocabulary for the coming week.
"For the record... " so that amazing super-human can type it down on the weird keyboard
"Objection!" "Sustained." really... not kidding you
"Objection!" "Overturned." yup, just like on TV!