Today I had an epic experience with the judiciary branch of our checked and balanced government. I was called in for jury duty but not just any jury duty. GRAND JURY SELECTION.
What I found out about Grand Jury duty when I arrived (because I didn’t not read the information in the packet carefully) is that if you are chose to serve on a Grand Jury in the state of Connecticut you have to serve for 18 months with the possibility of a 6 month extension.
Exactly. Upwards of TWO YEARS of jury duty. First of all, how can you possibly do this unless you have the most understanding job of all time or are currently unemployed? To be fair, you only serve 2 days a week, a max of 4 days a month. But still, it’s for 18 months! Over a year!
The judge was awesome during voir dire and politely listened to the precarious nature of my job/life situation right now, which is that I most likely (hopefully) be moving to another state within 6 months, which is not quite 18 months. He was very understanding (“You may sit down now”) and the court reporter recorded every word out of my mouth using her weird shorthand typewriter (OMG HOW DO THEY WORK?) which really makes sure that you don’t perjure yourself at the side bar.
The slightly unfortunate part is that I actually would have been really interested in serving on a grand jury. It sounds super interesting (aka civics geeky) and you get to participate in law and government in a very meaningful way. And the court clerk said that when you come in, they give you pastries and coffee*. Pastries and coffee, you guys! (*I really hate when people say asinine things like that. As if a light continental breakfast is really going to make me want to sign up for 18 months of jury duty.)
They picked 23 grand jurors and 10 alternates out of approximately 125 people (with a quorum of 16 people for the grand jury to be in session). I was not picked, thankfully.
Until we meet again, legal system.