Me up at 5 a.m. & not leaving the country! Q: What could be more alarming? A: Me, deciding the innocence or degree of guilt of the accused – that’s right I was summoned for jury duty. The original summons was for June but I was in DC so I had it deferred to October.
The day 1 call was for 8:30 – not trusting TTC I left home by 7:30 & arrived in time at the lounge/holding tank. Prospective jurors are sorted into colours: blue, green, red, purple – I was the green group so there’ll be no colour purple jokes. Each group was at least 100 people. It reminded of the pharmaceutical drug research I used to do – bag search on entry, sitting & waiting to be called – at least here there would be no blood draws to deal with.
The chairs were comfy, mens room large & clean, an onsite cafe (for morning coffee) & it was reasonably priced. There was an abundance of eye candy to rest my vision when I tired of reading. There is nothing more relaxing than a well tailored blue shirt snuggly fitted over a man’s pecs & biceps. The prospective jurors were a true cross-section of Toronto – all ages, genders, physiques, races, nationalities.
After a video explanation & then more details by the head clerk (titles were rarely given ?) those who wanted deferral were dealt with – that eliminated a 100 or more of the pool. More waiting. I had lot son my Kindle to read & 7 days of non-stop music, should I need it. I had my laptop as well but opted to do this without internet access.
The Green group was called up for a trial – the counsels would select from our pool. Our juror #s were picked at random. The judge spoke to each individually, some were excused with cause. The prospective juror looked the accused in the eye. Then the attorney’s either accepted or challenged the prospect. No reasons for either were given. My # wasn’t even close to being called – just like lotto max. Those excused or challenge at the trial were returned to the juror pool – they are still eligible for another trial & still have to do the 5 days.
Lunch break & took some photos. Back the holding tank for more sitting. We were released for the day by 4:15.
Day 2 we didn’t have to return until 9:30. Transit was hell sauna on wheels. I needed another shower by the time I got off at St. George. Walked down from Queen’s Park Station to get some fresh air. Another morning of waiting. Two other of the groups called call up. Then at 1:15 we were released for the day – juries were needed but we were due back the next day.
As a civic duty this isn’t too taxing, merely boring. I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to deal with employers, new borns or health issues to be there.
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