Sunday, July 22, 2012


So, if you actually wanted to read Adam's Ale these past couple of weeks you are aware that nothing has been posted.  I was on jury duty for two weeks.  It was only supposed to be one week but I was put on a case that lasted two full weeks.  Actually it is not done yet so I cannot talk about it.  I was the second alternate so although I had to be there, when the jury went in to deliberate, I and the other alternate were excused.  So the others have to return next week and unless TWO of them get sick or hit by truck my service to the Summit county court system is over.

I learned a lot during jury duty and not all of it at the court house:

I would get up early to walk the dog and then have Mass or go to a Finance Council meeting or something and then hop in the car to be at the courthouse by 8:30 or 9:00 AM depending.  The day generally lasted to 5 or 5:30.  Then back home to try to catch up on things that normally got done during the day.

Funny thing about jury duty.  It felt a lot like Mass.  First someone says, "All Rise!" and the we processed in formally into something like pews and there is a man behind a large altar like bench wearing robes.  I felt very at home.

Now that did not actually happen.  But I came very, very close.

Jury duty, while an honor to be of service to my country (or at least my county) and while it can be very fascinating, it is also expensive and fattening.  I rarely had enough time to make lunch in the morning and so that meant going out for lunch every day (and they no longer give a stipend.)  There were also long periods of time when there is nothing for us to do because the judge needs to talk to the lawyers without us and so we sit and talk and drink coffee and eat pastries.  I think I put on 5 pounds.  Fortunately the jury was a fun group of people to spend the day with.

As the day goes along it becomes difficult to pay attention for all of those hours.  It reminds me of graduate school.  Fortunately they had a continual fountain of coffee.  I still have the shakes from all of the caffeine.
Father Pfeiffer was very good about not asking questions about the trial.  At every break the judge informed us not to talk about anything that took place in his court room.  Not an easy thing for me to do.

Over all I am glad I had the opportunity to give it a go.  Actually this is the fourth time I've been called up but the first time I was allowed on a jury as a priest. 

It was interesting doing my Liturgy of the Hours in a courthouse.  It put a different spin on the psalms.  For example, from Tuesday of the First Week:

Psalm 119:
I am seized with indignation at the wicked who forsake Your law.

Psalm 33:
All have left the right path; depraved, every one.
There is not a good man left, no, not even one.

It made me hear these words in a whole new way.

Anyway, Adam's Ale should be on a role again though vacation is coming up.  Thanks for coming back.


lgreen515 said...

I'm surprised they put you on the jury. Priests are always doing things like reading Psalms 119 and 33.

Kate J said...

Re: the rush/hour road rage pic - my husband was foreman on a jury some years back, and they gave him a bus pass to get downtown. One of the many parts of the experience that he LOVED. It was honestly like a vacation to him! His normal job and commuting schedule was, and remains, highly stressful. Just received a new summons for jury duty in Aug. - he says, "Yippee!"

Anonymous said...

I agree with lgreen515, I am surprised they let you on the jury being a priest and all. I was just picked to be on a jury. It was a great experience besides the whole jury selection part and the sitting around for hours upon hours. My favorite part was when the nurse expert witness was on the stand. That was the only witness we saw because the case was settled shortly after. I am actually looking forward to the next summons for jury duty. Makes me feel like I am doing something good.