Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why I'm fascinated with jury duty.

I've had jury duty this week. Since Tuesday, I've been in a pool of jurors for a case, and by Thursday afternoon, I should know if I'm gonna be picked or not.

I'm not opposed to being on a jury. In fact, I think it's a cool idea.

But why? Why am I drawn to something that so many other people find unappealing?

Today while walking around downtown Sacramento, it occurred to me that my interest in jury duty can be traced to two memorable life experiences:

1. Back in 8th grade, our social studies class did a "mock" trial of the Dred Scott case that the Supreme Court heard back in the 1850s. I was a member of the Supreme Court (the chief justice, actually), and our job was to made a ruling based on the evidence presented by our peers, NOT by the original court ruling.

2. Back in 1996 (or 1997?) I covered a juvenile homicide trial in Stanislaus County, while working for the Turlock Journal. I was fascinated by the entire experience of covering a case from opening arguments all the way though a verdict.

Anyway, I think those are the two defining moments that explain why I would enjoy serving on a jury, instead of trying to find a way to get out of it.

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