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Inside the mind of a jury member
Posted May 2, 2008
Erin Konrad
Arts Editor

Okay, I know it’s my civic duty. I know that everyone has to take part in the system so that our country has a fair and equal judicial system.

But I have to say that I hate jury duty more than anything. This was my first experience with it last week, and I hope that I can slip through the system and never ever be called again.

I think that students should be exempt from service until the summer. I know that being a student is not technically an excuse, but I have a lot of stuff going on right now (as we all do).

It’s a complete waste of my time to sit in a room for seven hours when in two months I could come in with no stresses waiting for me at school.

One of the worst parts is the people that I had to sit next to. One woman continued to talk to me even after I politely said that I was doing homework.

Hey, that was a hint that I don’t want to hear any more about your recent bout of hot flashes and the exciting motor home trip you planned for your husband’s 80th birthday. I’m busy.

The least I can accomplish while being forced to sit in this room is to get some reading done for class.

But if you really feel it’s necessary to explain in detail your hip replacement surgery, then I guess I’m powerless to stop you.

Then the guy across from me decides that it’s time to talk very loudly on his cell phone.

Buddy, it’s quiet in here and you’re making everyone else listen to your conversation about scheduling your colonoscopy.

I could have gone my whole entire life without hearing the details of that.

So, I wait in this drab room for hours to be called to a case…after a two-hour lunch break.

I would much rather have skipped lunch and got that tortuous experience with over faster.

But the woman across from me told me that she desperately needed to go grab a muffin.

So I spent several more hours waiting to be called into the courtroom.

Once I was there the judge wanted to explain the court process to the prospective jury members.

Yeah, I know what happens when someone says objection – I’ve seen “Law and Order” before.

If you don’t know why there are two lawyers sitting at the table then you probably don’t own a TV, have never seen a movie or have never picked up a book.

I know the day will be over sometime after 4 p.m., so I’m left anxiously waiting for the judge to stop explaining why the accused in front of me has been called on 24 counts. He must have been busy.

Unlike me, who is very un-busily stuck here trying to count the ceiling tiles without the judge noticing me.

I wish I could play my iPod but I’m pretty sure that it is against the rules of the courtroom. So I bide my time before finally being released.

The judge ultimately decides that my status as a student is indeed an excuse. So that means that I’ve wasted an entire day of my life that I can never get back again.

I know I’m just been called to jury duty, but I feel like I’m a prisoner.

When the judge finally lets me go, I feel as though I’ve just gotten out of a life sentence.

Freedom has never tasted so sweet.

Erin Konrad, a junior journalism major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at ekonrad@ulv.edu.