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Getting to Know You - April 4th


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I was called twice about 2 years apart. I got on a kidnapping case where a woman took a newborn from a hospital. I was eliminated during the questioning because I had a psychology degree and she was claiming mental illness. The other case I was called in to hear but not chosen for was a murder case. The star witness to be the victim's 8 year old daughter-- luckily I wasn't chosen for that.

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About two months ago, I was called for county jury duty. As soon as we began hearing all the information about how the jury would be selected, an alarm went off and we were escorted outside. Someone had called in a bomb threat for the courthouse. Although it turned out to be a hoax, we were detained for several hours while the bomb sniffing dogs did their thing. Then, after all that wait, I wasn't selected for duty. Apparently, the prosecuters have been doing very well here with plea bargains by telling the offenders that they have a jury ready to be seated. Then, at the last minute, they accept a plea bargain rather than facing a jury.

Now, I have received a summons to report for federal jury duty in Orlando (Muriels territory). I called today and was told to call back Monday after 12:30. I have to repeat this procedure for two weeks. It's 76 miles from my house to the federal court house and I'm not looking forward to this trip.

I have served before on a criminal jury and have no problem doing so again. I find the criminal procedure very interesting. I just don't want to drive 76 miles, one way, to serve on a jury.

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Twice, a local county trial about 10 years ago. Drug trial, about 1 week. Was elected forewoman and found it difficult to say 'Guilty'. Found out later that the verdict to appeal and was upheld.

Second was 5 months after Earl died, so of course I was very emotional. This was a federal extortion case and like Ann, I had to drive quite a distance every day for a week. Again, they asked me to be forewoman, but I declined. Again guilty. I asked the judge to be lenient on the sentence but found out the guy got 22 years. He was guilty but I understood just a little bit why he did what he did and he was married with 5 children who were outside the courtroom at the end of the trial. Heart wrenching.

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