This year for the A-to-Z Challenge, I'll be looking at major events that happened in 2020 [the year we would all like to forget, so let's look at it first, before flushing it down the toilet].
Welcome to J! We're looking at – JURY DUTY.
Have you ever thought about how many people are required to be inside a courtroom when a jury trial is in progress? Let's count:
1 Bailiff [can be more than one, depending on the type of trial]
1 Court Clerk
1 Court Reporter
1 Plaintiff/Prosecuting attorney [sometimes more, including assistants]
1 Defense attorney [sometimes more, including assistants]
1 Plaintiff or representative
1 Defendant or representative
14 Jury [12 plus usually 2 alternates]
This is 23 people at MINIMUM. And of course, during a pandemic that's too many people close together inside. Most courts closed in March 2020 for at least several weeks, if not longer. When they re-opened, many hearings were done virtually. A few states and counties have been brave enough to try a virtual jury trial, but it's not common, and generally only for civil trials, not criminal.
My son had jury duty in 2020. He was on call-in status, which means he called the courthouse every evening for a week, to find out whether his presence was required the next day. Not surprisingly, he never had to show up that week.
Did you have jury duty in 2020? What was it like?
Here's a teaser for tomorrow, letter K: