For the first time in all my 57 years of life, I served as a juror! Last year, I had been summoned for federal court, but, I listed all of my health issues and I never heard back from them.
What made this experience a little iffy was that my insomnia kicked in and I heard George's alarm clock go off at 3am and I had to get up at 6am, so, I was running on 3 hours of sleep or less.
I had to be there by 8am. There were so many people there, that if I were to make a guess as too how many people were in attendance, I'd have to say about 600. We were given a 15 minute break and people began leaving to get coffee and use the bathroom. Being a newbie, I stayed in my seat reading my Ladies Home Journal.
The grand moment came as names began to get rattled off. Surprisingly, I was the 4th person to be called on the first list of a panel of 24. We assembled in the hallway of the County Courthouse and we were told that they were excusing us till 1:30pm.
I called George to let him know. It was early, so, I decided to visit San Fernando Cathedral. I've seen this gorgeous cathedral on television during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and I must say, television doesn't do this cathedral any justice! Afterwards, I went into the courtyard and worked on my puzzles and read. George took me to lunch and it was back to the courthouse. I returned about 1pm, but, the bailiff didn't assemble us till 2pm!
We were ushered to the second floor of Judge Wayne Christensen's courtroom. This was the second time I had ever been in a courtroom. It was a DWI case involving a man. The prosecution asked the jury general questions and as the defense was about to do the same, they recessed for 5 minutes, so, everyone had to wait in the hallway. Finally, we went back into the courtroom and we were told we were excused! Why? The defendant decided that it would be in his best interest to accept the bargain that the prosecution had offered instead of going to trial. One of the jurors recounted how his daughter had gotten killed by a drunk driver.
Maybe, this tragic story had something to do with it, but, I'm not sure. I was exhausted by the time we left, about 3pm. All in all, it was a learning experience I won't soon forget.