Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Civic Duty

So I got summoned for jury duty for today. Oddly enough, despite the fact that I am about to turn 40 (forty!?) I have never done this before. I remember once getting the summons thingy in the mail, about two weeks after the date, as I had been overseas at the time. So being older and much more predictable these days, I did what you're supposed to do, called ahead the night before, and showed up at my appointed 8:30 am check in time. We were crossed off the list, given name tags (I was dubbed the catchy "Juror 91277") and metal-detectored for cell phones and guns. Then we went to the court room.

Let me back up here a bit and mention that our court house (Mariposa County Courthouse) is old. It was built in the 1800's. So the court room is up a flight of narrow stairs, on the second floor. It also has, not only a large structural beam right smack dab in the middle, but said beam also houses the chimney of the court room wood stove. I'm pretty glad it was a lovely mild day, and we didn't have to huddle 'round the stove for warmth. The final quaint, charming, and slightly alarming fact about our local courthouse is that the entire building vibrates when the bell is rung. So nine long peals of the bell clapper could be felt as well as heard.

And then the guy pled guilty in chambers, and we were all sent home after an informative video and thank you speech from the judge. Oh, and I kid you not, as I was driving away they were getting someone out of the paddy wagon and he was in black and white horizontal striped pj's. We do things the old fashioned way here. Evidently.

To see our high tech facilities click here and scroll down a bit more than halfway. You can just see the wood stove, to the right of center.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As I prepare to purchase my annual supply of wood stove pellets so we can huddle around our upstairs stove this winter, I am driven to consider why I might never never never have been summoned for jury duty in Maryland, despite living most of my life here. Perhaps the 8 years in the Air Force got me off the list forever? Just think of that bell though, ringing throughout the whole day as your prisoner trembled in black and white before your thoughtful eyes...all of you would have been trembling by the end of the day!