Yesterday, I got out of jury selection because I am too poor. That kinda counts as a victory, right?
I got the summons to appear for selection for jury duty. I did that. I had to wake up to be at the place for 8:15 in the morning, at time when I am usually beginning my day’s sleep. The place was crowded with a few hundred other such potential jurors. There was a roll call done by verbally calling out names and responding with “here” that seems like an outdated method of dealing with this in this, the age of computers. Anyway, that took half an hour or so and then we had to wait another long while before the crowd was ushered into two courtrooms (because we couldn’t fit into one). The judge was introduced. Then we got the chance to ask to get out of it for “Medical, Employment, or Personal Hardship” reasons.
I overheard the judge tell one of the people asking to get let go that the trial was estimated to run about twenty days. Though jurors do get paid about forty dollars a day, that would leave me pretty darn broke. I got into line and presented my reasoning to the judge, that being on the jury is something I can’t afford. It seemed to me (or maybe I was just projecting my own guilt onto him) that the judge thought I was just being whiny, but he did accept it and allow me to go. That’s what really matters. And it isn’t like I was lying. I spent half of this year in shoes that were a size too small because I couldn’t afford new ones. Maybe I’m not going to die if I have to be on a jury, but it could seriously make me unable to pay bills and such.
And I didn’t even get into the fact that being awake in the daytime is a hassle. I would have been a real risk for falling asleep during the trial.
Anyway, it’s kind of a shame, because if I was in a financially stable situation, I’d actually be pretty interested in serving on a jury. Maybe someday down the line.