Monday, April 12, 2021

J is for Jury Duty

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.,_Arkansas.jpg

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  Judge
1  Bailiff [can be more than one, depending on the type of trial]
1  Court Clerk
1  Court Reporter
1  Witness
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:


  1. I was called for jury duty in March this year, but it was cancelled.

  2. I was called for jury duty in March this year, but it was cancelled.

  3. I haven't had jury duty, but a couple of friends have and over here they have been using cinemas to host the juries, watching the court on the big screen!

    1. Interesting way to conduct trials! We're doing a few by video around here, depending on the county.

  4. For a while I had more than my share of jury duty. For some reason I called twice a year for three years.

    That was after I had three others years of jury duty once a year.

    Only one of those did I not get picked for a jury. It is tough work to pass judgement on someone when you have such limited facts as the defense and prosecution deem to give out.

    Every time I had it there fifty some people riding herd on us too.

    1. Here in CA you can only be summoned for jury duty once per year. I've been summoned a few times, and actually sat as a juror twice. It was interesting and yes, difficult to pass judgment on other humans. I always wanted more facts that I'd been given too.

  5. I've been called up but for various reasons have been excused from having to attend. The first time was a couple of weeks after my 18th birthday and back then, being female was a reason to be excluded!

    1. That's definitely not a reason for excuse around here!

  6. I just got a notice to serve in May. Sad about Kobe.

    Janet’s Smiles

    1. Some counties around here are doing jury trials now. Los Angeles might start in June or July.

  7. It *is* a lot of people to cram into a court room!

    Where I live, court procedures are 'proceeding' but they've moved to a lot of out-of-court negotiations and what trials are being held are requiring jurors to be separated into different rooms with camera access to the courtroom.

    I'm currently on-call for jury duty in my county; no cases need jurors this week so I am excused for the moment. It's a two-week obligation though, so we'll see what happens...