Jury duty. Everyone probably looks at it differently. Most probably hate it. I was dreading the waiting part. Last time I was called up for it, I was in D.C. Only thing I remembered was the long waits with no information. After about 5 hours my group was dismissed without even being selected.
Virginia's jury selection turned out to be much more organized and informative. After arriving, we all received juror lanyards, with our cards and even parking passes. Once everyone arrived, they updated us on what was going to happen and then showed a video on how we were selected.
I was called in with about 20 other people for the first (and only) case that the morning. We were asked specific questions, related to the case, by each of the lawyers. This process is called the voir dire.
After a short meeting with their clients, the juror list was announced. My name was on the list of jurors. oh yay.. It turned out to be a civil case, so only seven juror are used. If it was a criminal case, then they'd have selected 12 jurors.
Without going into details, the case was in regards to a monetary disagreement between both parties in a traffic accident case. I didn't know this, but Virginia is one of a handful of states where the jury decides the dollar amount, and not the judge.
Needless to say, all the jurors were even more somber when thinking about what our decision should be.
Fortunately, both lawyers wrapped up their arguments by the end of the day. After that we were left to decide the amount if any to grant the plantiff. I think we were fair and just in our determination. I know both parties probably wanted a different amount. But remember, “When you go into court, you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty”.
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