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Summons

Started: 2004-03-31 08:09:05

Submitted: 2004-03-31 08:29:44

Visibility: World-readable

In yet another fascinating turn of events, I've been summoned for jury duty at the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. (Page uses Java and frames for navigation for some reason I can't quite comprehend; your navigability may be difficult. While I'm critiquing web design, I'll point out the obnoxious animated gifs.) I'm in the jury pool for the month of April and won't know if I'm supposed to show up until I call each Friday afternoon during the month. This court, in Denver, is the lowest court that hears cases regarding federal law. Its website asserts it deals primarily with civil cases, although two high-profile criminal cases have been tried at it recently: it handed down a death sentence for Timothy McVeigh and is currently trying various Qwest executives for fraud that allegedly occurred on their watch.

Last year, I observed that I was in the perfect situation to take jury duty: I had nothing to do and was moping around the house mostly feeling sorry for myself. I still want to believe that jury duty could be an educational experience in civic duty, but I'm dubious about getting stuck on a lengthy jury, such as the one in New York that has been hearing arguments about fraud at Tyco for the past six months and is having trouble reaching a verdict. (My employer won't give me time off separate from my vacation time for jury service. Jury compensation is a whopping US$40 per day, far less than I make in a standard working day. As a federal juror, I have employment protection rights, but the link is broken on the jury information page.) Gem would be ideal for jury service right now, but she's not the lucky one who got picked.

I feel myself wearing out at work; I need to take a break. Before being summoned, I made a first pass at scheduling my vacation time during 2004 and decided to take a day off in April. Now that I have no idea when I'll be required to show up for jury duty, if I'll be required at all, I haven't scheduled anything. My best-case scenario is to be summoned for a day or two, hand down a verdict in a simple case, get a nice break from work, take vacation time for those days, and return refreshed. (I'm not holding my breath, but it'd be nice if that happened.)

Ever changing, the future is.

Unlike most of you, I get to bed at a reasonable hour.
- Dr. Show, to physics class, 20 August 1999