Thursday, March 20, 2008

you have been invited to join the justice squadron

Please meet at the municipal building of vengeance on Monday morning, 9:00 am sharp.

I started jury duty on Monday. Obviously my reputation as a master crime solver, up there with the likes of Batman and Sherlock Holmes, has preceded me. I was therefore hand selected as an essential candidate to take part in our fair city's war on crime. My many hours spent watching CSI and reading detective stories are now unarguably well spent.

Now unfortunately I won't be able to go into any gory details about any cases, not because I've sworn an oath not to but because nothing has happened. I arrived at ten to nine on Monday morning feeling rather nervous but also quite excited. There followed an induction and role call which lasted about an hour and then at 10 am my group were told our trial would begin at 2 pm. Four hours to kill. I read for an hour and a half, strolled round town for an hour and ate a sandwich and then returned to read for another hour. Then I read some more. Then at quarter to three we were lead to a small room adjoining the courtroom where we waited for another 45 minutes. Finally we were ushered into the courtroom where we took a seat, briefly watched the defendant argue with his counsel and then were ushered out again one minute later. Then after a further 45 minute wait we were sent home. Day 1 over.

On Tuesday morning I arrived for 9:45, as instructed. This was in readiness for a 10 o'clock case. I then sat and read until 12:15 when we were lead once more to the small room adjoining the court. Then 45 minutes later we were sent home again. I stopped by the pub to say hi on the way home and when Rob asked me why I wasn't in court I informed him that crime had taken the afternoon off.

Jury duty is supposed to last about two weeks, that's how long they tell you to prepare to be off work for, and that's how long I booked off work. When I rang the information line on Tuesday evening I was told I wouldn't be needed the next day. Then when I rang again on Wednesday I was told that my jury service was completed due to the Easter holiday. I took 2 weeks off work and my service was completed in a day and a half, only one minute of which was actually spent in a courtroom. I don't really know what to make of all that.

I never actually got sworn in, but when you do you can either swear on a holy book or you can make an affirmation if you aren't religious. I was surprised by the number of people who actually wanted to swear on the bible, it made me want to see if I could swear on a copy of Lord of the Rings. Han's got a very handsome leather bound edition that would have looked right at home in the courtroom. But the judge probably wouldn't have accepted an oath sworn by almighty Gandalf.

Anyway, that's it... all over with. It's kind of a shame that I didn't actually get to take part in a trial, I'm sure it would have been very interesting, and probably quite satisfying too. But on the up side it's my birthday on Monday and now that I don't have anything to do I can concentrate on celebrating in style, by which I mean getting boozed up. I'm going to be 30 years old by the way, eeeek!