#JuryDuty Calls 2


The introductory video to jury duty on day one represented this as a profound learning experience participating in the judicial system – by day 4 it was more a profound reading experience – that’s right reading & some listening. Thank God for my Kindle & iPod – time doesn’t exactly fly but it passes quickly enough. With Nanowrimo approaching I had hoped to do some work on that but the only writing I felt inspired to do was blogs about jury duty 🙂

By day four I’d developed a holding pattern: recovery talk & then mediation music from transit. Always changed at St. George but got off at a different south station each day for some walking & ‘fresh’ scenery, a different Starbucks each morning too. The same variables. Arrived at the juror lounge around 9 a.m. Sit int he same spot, next to the same fellow waiter – exchange pleasantries then disappear into my book & music.20jury02

I don’t read & listen non-stop though. I give my ears & eyes breaks as I take a walk around, hit the washroom, fill my travel mug with water, snack on an energy bar. I make sure I move around every hour. If we don’t get called for jury selection we are dismissed around 1 p.m. each day. I guess no new jury needed trials start after lunch.

20jury03Much like airport waiting I’m struck by how plugged in nearly everyone is – I doubt if anyone there didn’t have a cell phone. People checking phones, playing smart phone games, tablets, eBooks, laptops. Though there were some who actually conversed face-to-face, taking pauses to check their cell phones. I must admit I did text a couple of guys to distract myself with the anticipation of their replies.20jury04On day four my favourite eye-candy was a no show 😦 Such was my bitterness with the judicial process. A bitterness that was tempered when we were excused for the day by 11:45 & at the same time told that our obligation had been fulfilled & there was no need to return Friday. Next call to serve will be in three years. I can wait.

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Jury Duty Calls

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.18jury01

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.18jury02

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.18jury03

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.18jury04


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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