Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jury Duty Experience Day 2

Another round of jury duty yesterday. Was picked again by ballot for the first trial. This time there was a total of four trials as opposed to nine on Monday. I was having a chat to one guy who was in the same group as me yesterday. He asked if I was going to make it two strikes out of two attempts. I said that we'd just have to wait and see. All 36 of us, the jury pool, entered the courtroom. It was a sex case and the reading of the charges was a bit to stomach. I don't know how the women would have found that. The clerk of arraigns, a woman, read the charges to the accused men quite carefully. I thought that the trial judge explained the proceedings much better than the judge yesterday. It was anticipated that the trial would last for four to five days.

A total of 14 jurors was required. Pretty good odds to get chosen again. This time round I was chosen as the 11th of the 14 jurors. The first juror was challenged by the defence. The second by the prosecution. The third by the defence. I thought that by the time they reached me they would have run out of challenges as they are only allowed five each without cause. No younger women were allowed to serve on the jury. They even allowed one guy to be sworn in and he had the greatest difficulty in reading the oath. Perhaps he was very nervous or maybe his English just wasn't that good.

When it came to be my turn to be sworn in the prosecution called, "Challenge!" Struck out again? I hadn't given her the evil eye, even though she looked like a hard-nosed bitch, so I was wondering why. What information did they have on me?

Back to the waiting room as they needed another 12 jurors for a case on Thursday. So, 22 of us to choose 12 from. Sorta doomed, eh? They chose 12 people and I wasn't included. Then the guy I had been speaking to piped up that he had spoken before about having to fly to Sydney the day before. They drew one more. I thought, "You bastard. You're going to get out of this and I'll have to take your place." Well, that's not the way it turned out folks. I have been discharged from my jury duties for this year.

Incidentally, the information available to the lawyers, apart from my dress and demeanour in court, is only what's on the electoral roll. I.e. my name, address and occupation if I have included it. The last time I changed my electoral roll details I was a student. Perhaps they saw that I was a student, who can be excused from jury duty, and thought that this old bastard is still studying so he must be some sort of a loser or perhaps can't devote the time to such a matter without worrying about his studies suffering. Either that or it was my evil eye.

District Court of Western Australia.

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