At least I only had to serve one day. Apparently, the
day after Columbus Day there is a light case-load in
the Mercer County judicial system. Only one case
pending, and they settled minutes after our two hour
lunch break. A third-rate cheesesteak lunch at that.
I've served my state honorably as a petit juror five
times since the late eighties. The first time in
Somerset county, I went all five days and was
never picked. The second, in Mercer County,
I was selected as one of twelve and sat for a week
in a cocaine-bust trial. I did all I could to stay awake
in the courtroom; the high setting on the thermostat
and the white-noise machine challenged my ability
to remain conscious. We convicted the guy.
I was relieved of duty on my third tour due to the
conviction on my second.
Three years ago, I was tapped and made the
obligatory call every night before the next court
day, and was told I wasn't needed. 0 for 5.
Two weeks ago, my number was called and I, along
with 149 other upstanding citizens of Mercer County,
showed up at the courthouse in Trenton at 8:30 a.m.
I read half a book and fought aggressive assaults on my
resolve to stay awake, just barely staving off those attacks
with a loud snort and a quick shake of my head like nothing
had happened. We were sent home with the promise of
being eligible for petit juror duty in three years. I've
already marked it on my calender, because I know
they can't carry on without me.