Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jury service

I spent the past two days doing my civic duty as a potential juror for Durham County. Yesterday involved a lot of sitting around, taking breaks, sitting around, going out for lunch, doing Sudoku puzzles, walking around the block, sitting around, snoozing, reading, and eventually going into a courtroom with 35 other people to start the jury selection process. The judge spoke to all of us about the trial, and twelve potential jurors were called up front. Today, after multiple rounds of questioning by the prosecuting and defense attorneys, resulting in several "respectful dismissals," five more potential jurors were called up. One was dismissed, and then they called me. I was also dismissed, because, thankfully, something about being a middle-aged white female Ph.D. recovering-academic church-musician writing-tutor neighborhood-activist hobby-potter with a Ph.D. professor husband makes me an undesirable juror for the murder trial about to commence.

I took advantage of my copious break time yesterday to enjoy the spruced up scenery around the courthouse. Downtown Durham has undergone significant renovations over the past decade, including noticeable improvements just since last summer. Parrish Street is looking especially good.

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