For the first time ever, I was summoned for jury duty. And what do you know? I was selected to sit on the jury.
it was really interesting to see how the process works first hand. It's so very different from what you see on TV. They never show how often the jury has to get up and leave the court for a few minutes or more so the lawyers can duke something out over whether or not we can see or hear something.
I get absurdly excited by things like this - society functioning because we agree to stuff like this. We as people agree to give up our time to do this (yes, it's a summons, but still we could resist and get rid of the process) and the accused agrees to put his/her fate (if you will) in the hands of these random people. Also we are asked these questions - and it's on our honour that we're answering honestly that we will remain objective and decide on merits *alone*. I get just as ecited by voting...
It's a very different experience, I'm quite sure, from what happens in bigger cities etc. but there were seven of us chosen to sit through the trial and then randomly one was released as an alternate just before we went to deliberate. The deliberation was brief and we were all on the same page.
I worked carefully to remain neutral and I think I did ok. We're done, so I'm allowed to talk about it now. I did think about how I might be influenced. It was a domestic violence case - and without going into details, there was real cause to wonder at the charges and in the end we found not guilty.
Do I think I'm influenced by society to find the man's story more credible than the woman's? No. Do I think I'm influenced by society to find the woman's story more credible than the man's? No. Am I influenced by society to believe that only a woman can be threatened by a man? No. Am I influenced by society to believe that it is less/more/as likely that a man can be threatened by a woman? No.
I do tend to look inside and think about and examine my motives and thought-processes. I have looked inside - I have looked at every angle and I am comfortable that I and we reached the correct decision based on the evidence presented. The letter of the law was met. I'm also comfortable with the decision from the moral / spirit of the law aspect as well.
Still, I'm tired. An early morning - and it went until 5:30. I went to the gym and got a good workout, then came home to a note on the door saying the owners will bring more people by tomorrow to see the place. I had a case of pop out on the deck - it was on its side - and now it was open and the tins all over (including two under the deck where I can't get to them). I did warn them it was messy, but that was unexpected when I came home. It wasn't like that when I left. Can't have left a good impression with the people seeing it today. Oops.