Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jury Duty

Just before I paid off of the last ship a summons came in the mail notifying me that I was to appear for jury duty. I realize that this may sound strange, but this actually struck me as a good thing. Somehow I've felt like I've fallen behind on civic duty in the past few years* and it's nice to be a useful, contributing member of the community again. Aside from this, the only thing I do for folks I don't know is donate blood.** I'm probably the only person I know who would actually be looking forward to something like this.

According to the little stub that showed up in the mail, I was to call the courthouse phone number or check the website the night before my report date to see if my Juror Number was required to appear in the morning to be a part of Justice in action. I checked in for five evenings in a row, eager for the opportunity to visit society's vengeance upon some wayward citizen. I was anxious knowing that, for the briefest of time, I would be part of one of the three branches of our constitutional government. I was almost giddy with anticipation as I waited for my turn to flex my raw judicial power.

My juror number was 1325 and they only took a couple hundred per day. On the fifth evening, there was a message posted on the website as follows:

Juror Numbers 931 - 1700: since you were on call and not asked to appear, your services are complete for a period of at least one year.

Blast! Now I have to wait at least another whole year before I get another chance to send someone to the chair. So it goes.

*Yes, I know, seven months in Afghanistan should've made me feel like I've done my bit lately. It did, but I'm talking locally. The average Afghan dude doesn't impact Sonoma County all that much.

**I am not allowed to donate blood for two years from the date I left Afghanistan. So there's even less that I'm doing for society.

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