I grew up watching Perry Mason with my mother. He always won his cases. I watched People’s Court for years and saw how people reacted to a judge. I’ve seen countless court cases on tv at one time or another, but I never thought I’d take part in one until this week.
Last week I told you I got a call from a lady telling me to show up for court in a few days. I told her at the time that I was a little hard of hearing and found it hard to hear people from far away, but she would not accept that excuse and told me to show up for court.
So last Tuesday, David and I went downtown to our historic courthouse. We got into a line at the door where we were checked by security. Then upstairs to circuit court where people were lined up again to sign in. Then we all sat on benches in the courtroom and waited. And waited. And waited. Some lawyers came in. Then the person being judged and his lawyer came in. Finally, the judge came in. Not how I pictured a judge. She was pretty and young and didn’t look like a judge at all. But then, what do judges look like now? Times have changed. They are not all men anymore and that’s a good thing. Women were important judges in the Bible so there is no reason women should not be judges now.
Then the judge told us some rules, many of them I didn’t hear and had to ask David what she said. Then a video was shown about what to expect being a juror. Then the real process of choosing the jury began. First twelve people were called to come up and sit in the jury box. Then the judge said if anyone in the room had a reason they should not be on the jury to come forward and tell her now. I didn’t hear that part! David told me I better go up and tell her I could not hear everything that was being said. I was in a panic, really. So I got into the line. There were several people with excuses, but not all were excused. I didn’t know what I would do if I wasn’t. What if I sent an innocent person to jail because I didn’t hear all the information? Then it was my turn to go up to the judge. I was so terrified, but I took a deep breath, walked up there and she asked me what was my excuse. I told her I had been having trouble hearing all the talking in the courtroom and if I were put on the jury I may not hear everything I should hear. She then asked me, “Don’t you have hearing aids?” Ummmmm. Well, I have thought about getting some for a long time, but my pride has kept me from doing so and the prices are so high so I told her we could not afford hearing aids! For some reason, something I said or how terrified I looked made all the lawyers and the judge laugh and she leaned down and said, “You are excused.” I almost dropped right there, but I turned around went to get my coat and David and I left. David asked me what we were all laughing about. I wasn’t laughing so I don’t know.
I was a little disappointed and a lot grateful that I didn’t have to sit on the jury. It was a murder trial, too. One girl who was chosen was so elated she pumped her fist in the air.
All in all, in retrospect, it was very interesting to see how a jury is selected.. David is on the list now and we are wondering if he will get called. I will go with him and watch everything and if he should be chosen, I will stay for the trial. Maybe I will have hearing aids by then.
It’s almost Christmas and I am not ready. We did shopping for dinner today and wow was our list long. Next week will be busy, but this weekend we are doing something fun. I will tell you about it later.
Here’s to judges and juries and may they always make the right decisions. Bye.