Tuesday, January 27, 2009

5 Reasons Jury duty is a waste of time.

We all have gotten those summons in the mail. and all of us have had to actually go and sit through it. Here are the 5 biggest reasons (although there are about 200 others) that this process sucks.

5- They don't reimburse you for parking. Sure, in the great state of New York, they give you $40 a day (thats about $5 an hour) to come and be a juror (or prospective juror) What they don't tell you is that parking is $7.25, if you park under the court house (and if you take your car for lunch, its another $7.25 when you return) or $7.00 if you want to walk a mile in the cold. That eats your $40 down to $33 real quick.

4- Their constant re-insurance that "We are working to make the wait time shorter". Really? First they said you have to be there at 8:15 *THROUGH* security, and seated. Arriving at 7:30 seemed fair. Nope, the security was so far backed up I got through JUST at 8:14, and there were still 200 people left. some of the people I talked to had been waiting there since 7am. Then, they say "your judge will start jury selection at 9:00. Cool, so If I wait till 9am, i get to move around some out of these uncomfortable chairs, and maybe selected. NOPE. 9:45 when my judge finally calls for jurors to start. The other 400 people still hadn't heard from theirs. Finally each "1 hour" or "15 minute break" was an understatement. Every break was 30-45minutes longer than allotted for. If I had known that I would have walked to the bar and gotten a few drinks!

3- Repetition repetition repetition. I understand that you have to be thorough when picking a juror, It makes sense. You don't want some biased asshole sitting on your jury. But do you have to repeat the exact same scenario, to each freakign person, asking them all the exact same question, that, after they saw the first person get booted off for an answer, all promptly copied?

2- The order they go in. Once they explained to us how long the trial was expected to take (a week and 2 days), they then started selecting potentials 1 by 1, and would ask them if they knew any reason they couldn't serve. Well about 30 people got taken out, through the course of 8 hours (they didn't do this to everyone at the person, they did it until they had 21 people at a time, then would stop). This mean the poor pregnant chick, due any day, had to wait 5 hours before she could tell the judge she couldn't serve. The guy that spoke no English had to wait 3 hours before he could tell the judge. And the chick who had been assaulted with a gun (we were doing a murder trial) had to wait 7 hours. Seriously?

1- Not being asked a god damn question. Out of the 100 people I went into the court room with. All but 6 of us got called up as potential jurors. I got stuck waiting, doing NOTHING for 8 hours. No cell phone, no laptop, no book. Just sitting and listening. I felt like I was watching the worst possible part of C-span. you know where the guy reads the dictionary for 8 hours straight? THATS WHAT IT FELT LIKE!

Way to fail NY jury system. Way to fail.
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