This week I fulfilled the highest act of civic service when I showed up half an hour late to my first jury duty summons on the bustling and prominent Colfax Avenue, in the heart of Colorado’s capitol city, Denver.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly excited about being summoned for jury duty. I had it in my head that my physical summons was equivalent to a front row ticket to some sort of circus show or comedy act. I thought it was going to be a great day, filled with my comrades from public transit who I would now see in the defendant’s seat. I thought I had a whole paid day off work, and my roommate suggested that perhaps I’d even meet an interesting and attractive fellow juror to
swap spit share stories with.
The main reason I arrived late to my first ever CO jury duty summons was because I drove a borrowed car there and my THC levels were too high for me to figure out where to park it. There was a parking garage that wouldn’t let me in, and the summons clearly stated not to park at a metered spot, so I gravitated to my home away from home on Colfax Ave, Sancho’s Broken Arrow, and parked the car in their lot. I had to speed walk for one mile to get to the Lindsey-Flannigan Courthouse, and I filled out the jury paper I was supposed to hand in upon arrival while hustling down the Colfax promenade.
The other reason I arrived late was because I went to three different buildings before figuring out where I was actually supposed to go. I considered not showing up and inquiring about a re-schedule since I was tardy, and I mentally re-played the words my friend Christopher spoke to me the night before, and I quote, “You don’t really have to show up for those things (summons), you know.”
Well, Christopher, actually, you do have to show up, and I sure am glad I did. I found out later it would have been a $750 fine had I declined the judge’s invitation for tea. It turned out to be no big deal I was 30 minutes late; the reception woman said I only missed orientation. I was ushered into a giant waiting room with about 500 other registered voters and waited for my juror number to be called for a case.
I only had to wait for about 45 minutes before my juror number was called and I was lead to an upstairs courtroom with about 20 other jury contestants. We all sat in the “audience” until 12 of us, including me, were beckoned to the jury stand for the questioning of the juror selection process. The judge welcomed and thanked us and told us how awesome we were for being in the hot seats…and then the microphone came out.
The bailiff, who was a transvestite in case you were wondering, handed each of the jury contestants a sheet of paper with eight questions on it.
A microphone was passed around, and each contestant had to answer the series of questions into the microphone for the room of people to hear. I was asked my name, age, occupation, education, how long I’ve lived in Denver, what my parents and spouse do for a living, what are my hobbies and what do I like to read and watch on TV. I am fairly certain I lost points with the judges when I got to the part about how I earn a living, and I think the tiny piece of an edible I had snacked on began to kick in right when I tried to tell everyone what my parents do for a living because I suddenly couldn’t formulate the words to say that my mother is an Executive Assistant and my answer ended up sounding something like this: “Do you really want to know what my parents do for a living? Well, uh, my mom, ummm…she’s an ummm…uhh…she’s like…a secretary…”
After all the jury hopefuls rattled off answers to their question sheets, the attorneys from both sides each had 15 minutes to question us with material related to the specific crime, which I was extremely disappointed to learn only involved traffic citations. They asked us certain questions to make sure we weren’t going to be biased when deciding the fate of the defendant, and it was during this period I learned from someone else the best thing to say if you are looking for immediate dismissal from the jury stand. If you want to know what it is, you’re going to have to ask me, just to prove that you read this. Hah. Suckers!
Once the questioning process was complete we were let out on a ten minute break and then re-convened in the jury stand to find out the results of whether or not we would individually proceed to the next stage of the jury game. Before eliminating any players the judge reassured everyone that just because we weren’t chosen for jury duty does not mean we are rejects of the court.
“If I call your name,” the judge said, “you are free to leave.”
“Miss Lauren C., the court thanks you, you are dismissed.”
Yup. Not only was I dismissed from jury duty, but I was the first one to be let go. It’s an awkward procedure when the judge dismisses you because I had to immediately stand up, climb over the other seated jury hopefuls and walk out of the courtroom by myself. You think they’d have us all leave at once to save on noise and commotion, but no. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to sit in the audience or leave the courtroom once I was dismissed, so I decided to leave without looking back.
I walked the mile back to Sancho’s and then headed off for a full shift at work since it also turned out my company is only required to pay $50/day for jury duty, as opposed to a whole day’s pay, like I originally thought.
And that concludes my briefing on Jury Duty Attempt #1.
For the record, I did not meet any hotties, though I was whistled at on Colfax.