Jury Duty

11 October 2005
Well my little chicks, you may be wishing me goodbye for a while. I'm not going to be at work...I've been called up for jury duty. A few weeks ago, I got the letter telling me I was on the jury roll this year, but I was quite surprised to, a few days later, receive the letter telling me that I'd been empanelled.

Of course, it's easy to get out of jury duty; the fact that I haven't tried will tell you something about the dullness of my job, insofar as that jury duty seems a preferable option. And I say this, in light of the unpleasant experience I've had at the Newcastle Court house...not as a defendant (I was always too smart to get caught, haha) but as a member of the public. When I was doing Legal Studies for HSC, we went on a class trip to the courts; intending to witness minor matters, but ended up at the scetencing hearing, of a woman charged with murder after throwing her baby at a wall. Well, you can imagine the effect that that had on a group of 17-year-olds...all of the girls were crying, and a lot of the guys looked close to tears, too. Anyway, citing what he called "a life of extreme privation", the judge scentenced her to three years, so counting time served, she would have been released by 1998. It sickened me then, and looking back, sickens me more now.

But I won't be facing anything like that this time. For a start, it's highly unlikely I'll actually be selected for duty; since I've known I was up, whenever I mention to people that I've got jury duty, they always remark how they've been up, but never empanelled. Also, I think that the defence selectors will pick up on my extreme prejudice against, well, absolutely everyone, and knock me off. (I suppose I could get out of it by wrapping my head in aluminium foil and, when questioned, say it's to stop the aliens from stealing my thoughts). But if I do get selected, so what? I'm actually hoping I am; I'm looking forward to it. It's only District Court, so it will only be a fairly moderate matter (I just hope it's not a drugs trial, I think I've heard a case of that nature is coming up in the court soon, and I may well know the people involved) and in any case (pun intended!) I'm always looking for new experiences to write about. Nico, ace court reporter, coming soon!


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