Today I did my jury duty as a citizen of the US, and it was pretty interesting. Every US citizen is required to do it periodically. You get a letter in the mail telling you when and where to show up, and providing directions.
I showed up at the Norfolk Country Registry of Deeds in Dedham, MA, at 8am this morning. This is right across the street from the Norfolk Country Superior Court, and next to the Norfolk County District Court. These two courts are where I could have helped with a jury. I live in Brookline, MA, which is in Nortfolk county, hence the selection.
There were about 80 people like me. A court officer gave us instructions, provided background and context, and also showed an orientation video. Then a district court judge came to give a brief speech. The court officer, June, did an excellent job, and I told her so afterwards. She was clear, concise, and answered every question I had on my mind.
Then the waiting began. The way it works is the trials start going on in the courts, and they may or may not need juries. If they need juries, we get called in for screening, in small groups and random (I think) order.
As it worked out today, all the trials were resolved or moved on without needing a jury. Accordingly, at 11:30am, all of us were dismissed. And thus ended my jury duty for now.
I was mildly disappointed. I kind of wanted to sit on a jury to see the full experience first-hand. I didn’t want a long or complex trial that would last for weeks, naturally, but maybe something shorter.
There will be a next time, I’m told, in no less than three years.