Monday, January 12, 2015

I Had My Day In Court

Tucked in the middle of a really good mail day, (lots of Christmas cards) I found a jury summons for January 5.

It took me awhile to make peace with this white, very legal looking, piece of paper with my name on it. (why me? why now? why on the first day of Dave's new job? why on a -20 degree day? why criminal court? etc.)


Dave read some reviews of this court, so sent me off with plenty of quarters, bottles of water, lunch and his prayers.

Christy gave me a ride and prayed for me, too. So off I went.

Getting through the security and metal detector, in this very busy courthouse, felt a little like I was being ushered into jail. There were lots of uniformed folks yelling. Yelling a lot. 

And, one sweet sheriff who made direct eye contact with me and smiled.

I spent a quiet few hours in a very comfortable jury room, working on my Precept Philippians Bible Study, before my number was called. (my tiny way of adding some light to a rather dark place)

Then off to a court room for jury selection for a ... double murder trial. Oh my.

60 potential jurors and they needed 14 people.

Again, it took me awhile to make my peace with this. I did come to a place of trusting that God really was in control and if I got chosen, He would see me through.

The judge called up 14 potential jurors for questioning. My name was not called.

This was an interesting thing to watch, especially with the alleged murder suspect sitting right there.

And the judge was rather mean and shamed based. He made fun of a women who did not speak fluent English etc. I was not fond of him.

After several hours, they did not have enough jurors, so they called up a second set of 14. They did not call me.

By now, I know, I will not have to serve. And, Illinois is a one day jury system. If you are not chosen the first day, you are done. I was grateful, I did not have sit on a double murder trial.

Here is what I learned when I had my day in court.

     *I feel really nervous in situations where I have
no control. 

     *I am very unhappy when people are treated rudely by someone in authority.

     *I love the simple act of one person, the smiling sheriff, who did her best to make a difference.

     *Throughout the day, I felt extreme pride and gratefulness, for my dad and my sister.in.law, who regularly go into jails to bring hope to inmates. 

     *And, choosing good judges really matters. This guy may have been a fair judge, but I sure did not like his manners.

Have you ever served on a jury?


 

16 comments:

  1. I was scheduled for November, however, was excused because my back was so bad. I could barely walk, sit or stand. God's timing was perfect as I get extremely anxious during these types of things!

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  2. I get summoned quite a bit, but I'm a full-time student so I don't have to go. There are some benefits to being in school I'll definitely miss.

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  3. The only times I was in a courtroom, it was for my own son. He lived on the street and was dealing drugs.
    xxx

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  4. Yes, I have served on a jury. It was in Charleston, S.C.. It snowed! It doesn't snow in Charleston so I knew that was not a good sign. I also knew that a multiple murder trial was coming up. I had a 5 and 7 year old. It was the day of the shuttle disaster. None of this bode well. I was prepared to offer an excuse when the judge said he needed jurors for three courts and only had 38 to chose from. So, he said, unless you have a fever of at least 104 degrees, don't even think of asking off!! I didn't--have a fever or ask off. I didn't sit on the murder case but on three others. On one, I was the forewoman. In the end, I was happy to have the experience.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  5. Yes, I served on a jury for an entire week. Two multi-billionaires - both men well-known in our area - were arguing about a tree. Yes, a tree! The one man who had run for political office and not won (which was a good thing given the 'intellect' he showed through the week) had cut down a beautiful, big tree on the other man's property because it was in the way of his million-dollar view. The attorneys paraded botanists and tree experts and neighbors and historians familiar with the area past our seats. We heard about trees and bugs and attitudes - good and bad - and history but, most of all, human depravity. In the end the man who cut the tree down had his hands slapped and he paid for the value of the wood in the tree. And walked away with a dissatisfied look on his face. The man who 'won' had a smug look on his face. It was a ridiculous display for childish behavior by two very 'big', influential, wealthy men who had nothing better to do with this time and money. Would I serve on a jury again? Yes, I would. Hopefully, not murder or abuse. I'll take a trial over a tree any day!
    ~Adrienne~

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  6. I love your blog look Glenda! I used to read your blog when I was more active in the blog world - just coming back around after a break. I'm glad you didn't get picked either for that case. I had a similar experience in court two years ago. I had never been in a court room before and I went with a friend who was in a nasty custody battle. Well the bailiff was the smart-*&% in this case and was so rude to the defendant in the case before ours. A little while later I texted my hubs to let him know I'd be late and the bailiff came over to me and yelled at me for having my phone on which was my fault because there was a sign that I didn't see on the court room door and now I know it's a no brainer and you must have your phone turned off. I had my sound turned off but was still using my phone and he let the entire court room know. Ha! Live and learn.

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    Replies
    1. Oh...one more thing. I loved reading your sister's story. How neat that you had her share her story over at your place here. I'd be curious to hear about the prison outreach your Dad participates in - that's really neat.

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  8. If I'm correct, this courthouse is just across the street from where I worked for many years. I've never had to perform jury duty as I'm hearing impaired. I do know many people who were called to serve here in Chicago, and I don't know anyone who ultimately had to. Maybe too many people served? I would (and the people I knew who were summoned) be frightened of a murder case, and of course, being sequestered.

    I'm so in awe that you were able to find so many positive thoughts on this experience.

    Jane x

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  9. So glad you wrote about this. Lots of obedience on your part! Very interesting and scary too.

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  10. Dear Glenda, Thank you so much for visiting me and seeing my New Year's message. I have not served jury duty, for some reason I was always going in for surgery at the time I was called! What an experience you went through though and I can see it gave you even more compassion than you already have for others!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  11. I have served on a jury. I'm glad you do not have to serve and how sad that the judge was rude!

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  12. No, thankfully, I've not served. Dave served a few times, in Richmond, and once was a murder trial. He said it was quite plain the guy did the murder but the evidence was presented so dreadfully, Dave couldn't do his civic duty and pronounce the guy guilty. On every point I agree with you...especially the rude judge; he deserves to sit in a prison cell for a day or two and it would soften him a bit. Hopefully.it would sure scare me straight!

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  13. I served on a jury a few years ago. It was about medical malpractice. The trial took a week, but we were not sequestered (not that big of a trial to get publicity). I was fascinated and said if they paid better (I think it was $10 a day) I would do it for a living (probably relates to how I wanted to be a trial lawyer when I was young). We had an awesome (and I mean AWESOME) judge! His wife was a homeschooler (he told me after the trial, because I discussed the fact that I was a homeschooling mom when I was initially questioned by the attorneys). The baliff was also wonderful! We had a diverse, but friendly group of jurors (we even exchanged email addresses the last day).
    I just got summoned to serve again.

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  14. Hi Glenda, I was sent to visit you by Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm. Elisabeth Elliot is one of my heroines of the faith and Sandra said you were led to the Lord by her. Oh happy day!

    Yes, I have served on a jury and was terrified. I had to serve on two short trials. It was interesting to see the process. I also was asked to be a character witness for a young girl on a drug charge, which I did. I've pinned your blog so I can come back and visit more. ~ Abby

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  15. great post

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