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Jury duty

I came convinced that I will not be selected. I heard they usually skip lawyers.

It was just two days after my return from Europe. Powered with the latest issues of "Hello", "OK", "Politika", Serbian Intellectual Property Gazette and lots of positive energy, I was ready. Ready not to get annoyed with having to infinitely wait in extremely low temperatures of the air-condition empire.

I thought — Give honest answers, tell them you are a lawyer, then be excused. Simple. Yet, I found myself hearing my name perfectly pronounced and declared as the juror #10.

Bare room, long wooden desk and twelve heavy and surprisingly comfortable chairs, old windows overlooking the roofs of the city and Brooklyn Bridge, blackboard, a little bell to ring for the court officer and a bible. We were locked. Our phones and papers taken away.

Twelve random people. Noone looked like they cared to be there. And everyone definitely looked like they have more important things to do. All quiet until we had to speak.

I sat in the comfortable chair looking at the Brooklyn Bridge; only able to think that someone else’s destiny sits in the hands of twelve people annoyed with the responsibility. Inconvenienced by the two boys whose bullying got out of hand.

I thought about the juror #9 who spent most of the trial snoring. How fair is that? I don’t want a snoring juror on my trial. I pushed her a couple times. No response.

We ended up deliberating for over seven hours . I forgot about everything outside that jury room. I wanted to make sure that I make the right decision. Everyone seemed to have surrendered to making the right decision. Everyone except the juror #9.

I walked out - back to life. Just like that. Back in the courtroom two people sit permanently influenced by 12 random people. Two friends. One going to prison. Another free.

Big desion to make.

But most people, myself included, do not give any thought to what jury duty is about.

Before you go - prepare. Postpone until you think your life can wait. Bring a lot to read. Prepare to wait. Think patience. Think it is important.

And try not to be annoyed by the slow elevators. Someone was clever and, next to the elevator diagram of You Are Here, in between the words Are and Here, wrote in ‘STILL’. :))

When you are there, it really seems like you are never coming out. But you are. And before you do, your full attention and dedication is required. Nothing less. The snoring and annoyance please leave at home. They are not to be tolerated.

By danijela on Sep 20, 2003 in


Highly enjoyed the tone of the story. I could almost see you there balancing between the facts and their consequences…