My First Jury Duty Experience
Politics and Activism

My First Jury Duty Experience

A.K.A. the Worst day ever!

3019
Brittany Sims

Jury Duty is a right and duty that we all encounter at some point in our lives, mine just happened to be this past Tuesday, August 15th.

This was my first experience with jury duty and I hope it is the last. Let me tell you about my time as a juror.

Living in Northeast Philly without a license is a big inconvenience when you have to get downtown. So I woke up at 6 a.m. and took the train into town. (My mom and brother were nice enough to come with me and I thank you guys so much!)

The first problem of the day was the train we were supposed to take never came, but thank God when the next one rolled up, it could take us to where we needed to be by 8:15.

Once we got on the train, there were no seats together, so we were all separated. Luckily, we got off at the right station and got to the Criminal Justice Center on time.

Once I got there, there were a whole bunch of security and lines to pass through. The jurors all lined up and waited to be checked in. Once we were, we were handed a pencil and a question sheet and took a seat.

Now, the question sheet just has ‘yes’ or ‘no’ check boxes on them, but being the person I am, I wrote my opinions under each question and explained my answer. They might not have liked that, but oh well!

They offered us coffee, tea, and this dry fruitcake thing. Needless to say, I ate the snacks that I had packed and got a drink from the vending machine.

We were then shown a video explaining the questions and guiding us on our answers. When that was finished, the TV was kept on and Let’s Make a Deal appeared on every TV.

Because I knew I was going to have a long day, I brought a book with me. I was trying to read, but I swear they kept turning the TV up louder. (I’m the type of person who needs silence to read.)

Between the TV, the ladies in front of me having a good time, and the announcer assigning people for cases, I couldn’t get past page 2. I decided to just put my book down and watch TV.

It was about 10:30 when I finally got called for a case. Me and 49 other jurors marched up 2 flights of stairs and had to get in number order. Our jury officer, *John, was extremely nice throughout the whole day. He led us to a room where we waited to see what happened next.

*John left and we didn’t see him again until 11:35. He told us that others cases were finishing up and that we could go to lunch. At this point, I was already impatient, and just wanted to get it over with.

I met up with my family at Reading Terminal Market, where we ate lunch.(By the way, if you have your juror sticker on, you can receive 10% off here and at the Chili's across the street.) The lines were outrageously long and the place was packed. I was on a time constraint until 12:45.

We finally got our food, and found a place to sit. After some nice time spent with my family, I had to go back to my assigned room.

Of course, *John didn’t come back until 1 because that’s how my day was going. We went into a courtroom where we met with *Judge Smith and we were asked some questions to determine if we could sit in on this case.

Then the District Attorney and the judge’s assistant called out juror numbers that were being called for the next set of questions. My number was blatantly skipped over.

Me and the rest of the jurors who weren’t picked went back to our room and waited. I read my book, The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. I got pretty far into it when *John came back and told us that they had 9 people picked and he would come back for us when they were done.

At this point, I was getting fidgety and impatient. One guy a few rows ahead of me, had his game on full volume, the art girl in the front was drawing and blaring her music so that everyone could hear. Needless to say, I had to put down my book.

My phone was on 40% and I was never so bored in my life. FINALLY, *John came back and called for a second group. They had picked 11 people, we needed one more and 2 alternates. Again, my number was not picked from that group, so again, I waited.

Finally, at 3:45, *John came back and told us we were dismissed. I was never so happy and pissed off in my life. I wasted my whole day here and did basically nothing. *John handed us out notes for work and told us our checks would be mailed.

I sat there all day wasting time, I better get my $9…

I called my mom cause I knew she was getting antsy, and we met at the Reading Terminal again. We got back on the train and headed for home.

We were so exhausted that we stopped for Taco Bell. I highly recommend getting the Beefy Potatorito. It is delicious.

When we finally got home, it was 6:00pm, and we were never so happy to be home in our lives.

If you ever have to go to jury duty, I hope you have a better experience than me…..

I hope I don’t have to go through that again anytime soon….



*Names have been changed

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