I've been summonsed to be a juror on the 7th November, just 4 weeks from now, at the Wellington High Court. This should be fun, as I've always wondered when it would be my time as a juror.
I've been reading about it since Saturday, of course, when I received the summons, and I've found that most people don't want to be a juror and do their utmost to get out of it. There are even jokes that jurors aren't actually average members of the community, but instead are those who are too stupid to find ways of avoiding it. Is it a measure of stupidity to WANT to be a juror? Is a person who is interested in being part of a community service a stupid person?
I tend to think of jury duty as a position of responsibility. A juror is representing their community, and the administration of justice within it. Since I have reasonably strong ideas about justice myself, I think it's going to be an interesting time for me.
That's if I get selected, of course.
If I do, I imagine that I'm going to have a very interesting time holding my tongue on occasions, where I'll want to call out to the prosecution, "What kind of stupid idiot are you," or to the defence, "How about asking the most obvious question here!"
The worst part for me will be an entire day sitting in one spot, without a computer! That'll be, like, suffering a handicap – losing a limb or something as horrible as that. I'll be taking the laptop for those times when I'll have an opportunity to reconnect with reality via wi-fi (if I can pick it up from in the court – or at a nearby Starbucks during lunch hour). I'll take a book for the boring moments – they recommend that.
They'll supply a notebook and pen (you know, the paper notebooks. Yeh, I know… how quaint, hey?), which I'll use to keep notes on the case as it unfolds, to help me remember stuff and make my final decision. I'll also be using it to record interesting or humourous moments for my blog, but I probably won't be able to write about it until after the case is finished. Hopefully there'll be an interesting story to write.
Again, if I get selected as a juror.
Everyone who I've told about the summons to be a juror has given me advice on how to get out of it, ranging from dressing in a business suit to wearing a swastika-covered t-shirt. No one has said, "Cool!" Makes me wonder if I'm the stupid one, or if I'm instead the only one with a sense of responsibility…
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