Guilty/Not Guilty

A couple weeks ago, I received a jury summons.

Now, I've gotten a summons once before. I called in each day like a good little citizen and was never needed in person. Easy! I assumed this round would be the same way.

I was wrong.

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The first day I called in, my group number wasn't called. Sweet. The second day though, they called my number on the recording which meant I had to show up Tuesday morning. I was FREAKING. New situations like this are precisely what I try to avoid at all costs. Maybe God was giving me a little "comfort zone push". 

So Tuesday morning, I doused myself with essential oils like Clarity, Common Sense, and Stress Away and drove to the court house. After I parked, got through the metal detector, and checked in, I was faced with about forty people in the jury room. Here we go!

The first day was jury selection. Due to the nature of the case, there were a LOT of questions. One by one, they picked off the ones that wouldn't work. And still I stayed. Toward the end of the day, they made the final selection of 14 jurors (12 + 2 alternates) and I was chosen. By this point I was actually kind of excited. We had just enough time to listen to opening statements before we were sent home.

The next day was witnesses, research, and lots of lawyer talk. I was still fascinated. My stress levels were through the roof of course, but at that point I didn't care: watching the legal process in action was intriguing. By the end of day 2, the jurors felt comfortable enough to start talking to each other. I met one guy who knew my brother and another guy who knew my dad. One woman and I shared a first name and another woman had my daughter's name. 

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Day three was more of day 2, but this time, they wrapped up with closing statements earlier than expected. So then we went off to deliberate. This was a lesson in social interaction. We came from ALL walks of life. There was one kid who was extremely liberal, had an opinion on everything, and felt very important. I thought he was rude most of the time but it didn't matter: we still had to come to a unanimous decision. We deliberated for almost three hours and came to a good verdict. We were able to go home, knowing we had done our duty as citizens. 

I learned three things from this experience: 
1. I appreciate the legal process much more now and I think I could be a great mediator.
2. There are a lot of awesome people in our county. It gives me hope for humanity.
3. I stressed out way more than I thought I would have through this whole experience.

The following days after jury duty, I was WIPED OUT. I had little to no energy, I was tired all the time, I was craving sweets and salty items way more than normal, and I felt down in the dumps. What the heck was going on?

If you look back a few entries on this blog here, you'll see I talk about adrenal fatigue. Most women in the United States have struggled or are struggling with this. Apparently I am one of them. Not diagnosed, but judging from the symptoms, it fits perfectly. 

So I did some self care and now I'm feeling almost back to normal. Would I do it again? For sure! I admired the judge, the lawyers, and everyone involved. It was a fantastic experience. One woman even said it was on her bucket list! 

Finally, if you live locally and want to discuss more about jury duty or your own experiences as a juror, stop by Milk and Honey Ciders this Friday! We're continuing our Timeout Tour and would love to chat with you about verdicts, kids, jobs, or anything that comes up. Talk to you soon!