Thursday, January 12, 2017

Newly Summoned Faces

Redwood Creek is less than a 10-minute walk from the courthouse.
By 9 a.m. the Jury Assembly room was filled to its 165-person capacity. Judging from past experience the odds were in favor of my going home early. Typically 50-60 would be called to go upstairs.

Uh-oh, the clerk flourished a thick sheaf of papers and began reading. There was an initial thrill when 140 names were called, none of them mine. I sobered when the clerk told the "lucky" 23 to come back after lunch. What sort of trial calls 140 candidates, screens them in the morning, and needs more potential jurors in the afternoon?

About 100 newly summoned faces were seated in the Assembly room after the lunch break. Half of them went upstairs, and we lucky 23 joined the uncalled remnant.

After waiting an hour, the clerk told us to come back at 1 p.m. tomorrow. If we didn't, the judge could issue a bench warrant for our arrest. The good news: we all would be paid $15 for showing up.

They couldn't get 12 jurors from the nearly 200 that went to the courtroom today. What was this trial about anyway?

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