Monday, March 20, 2023 – Twelve Angry Men or I Had Jury Duty
I was summoned for jury duty today. I know. I can age out of the responsibility, but I do not want to do so. It is one’s civic duty to be a part of the judicial process.
First of all, I have nothing better to do. Second of all, I get to wear something besides sweats, shorts or blue jeans and t-shirts. I must actually wear shoes and not tennis shoes or slides.
One is required to dress in dignified and appropriate attire. From the notice – “This includes, NO SHORTS, HATS OR REVEALING CLOTHING.” I have a court ensemble. It is the same as my funeral ensemble. I wear my RBG socks with black leather loafers, black pants with sharp leg creases and a must have, non-negotiable button down shirt. This tends to confuse the lawyers – it is difficult to determine if I would lean toward the state or toward the defense.
Third of all I enjoy going through voir dire. I enjoy being questioned by the attorneys. First question: Ms. Duffey? Response: Yes. It is Dr. Duffey.” This usually works to get me out and they really do not want to ask any questions, but they have to ask their question anyway.
Fourth of all, I doubt I shall be chosen. As noted, as soon as I put on the doctor hat, the attorneys lose interest. However, should another questions be asked, these two are usually the ones:
Dr. Duffey? What do you do?
Response: I am retired.
What did you retire from?
Response: The state of Texas.
And at this point I am usually done. Defense attorneys seldom like jurors whose retirement is the same as their opponent.
Dressing conservatively; using an academic title, and retiring from the state is usually all I need to be released from becoming a jury. I am way too educated and experienced to be a part of an accused “jury of their peers.”
Unless of course, the jury summons is for the Grand Jury. In that case what they attorney’s are looking for are people wearing blacked creased pants, with a button-down shirt, a post baccalaureate degrees and experience in a bureaucracy.
I showed up at the appointed hour, filled out my payment form, donating my $6.00 to some court charity, and from 8:15 am until 9:45, the prospective jurors sat in the hallway on very hard benches. At this time, we streamed into the courtroom, only to be relieved of duty as plea bargains were reached for all defendants. So much for civic duty.