Tuesday, July 2, 2013

(empo-jooryst) The strangest coincidence

This is another post about my experiences as an alternate juror back in March 2013.

As I noted in my previous post, I was questioned on a Tuesday afternoon regarding my fitness as an alternate juror. Neither the prosuection nor the defense objected to my inclusion, so I was sworn in as an alternate juror on that Tuesday afternoon.

Opening statements were scheduled for Wednesday morning, and since the judge had other cases to attend to early in the morning, we were instructed to report to court at 10:30 am on Wednesday morning. Since I am no longer constitutionally (heh) able to sleep in all morning, this gave me some free time before my jury service began.

Now remember what I was NOT allowed to do during this time. I was not allowed to discuss the case with anyone, nor was I allowed to research the particulars of the case. For example, I could not search the Internet to find any news articles that mentioned the defendant in the case. I was also not allowed to use the Internet to research anything about the specific charges that were filed in this case. Although opening statements had not been delivered, I already knew the name of the defendant and the four charges against him.

So I decided to do something that had nothing to do with the defendant and those charges.

I went and got a haircut.

After getting the haircut and taking care of other business, I reported to the courthouse. Since I live in Ontario, I was required to report to the courthouse in Rancho Cucamonga. This is a nice courthouse to report to; among other things, it is a building of recent construction that is reportedly able to withstand a major earthquake. (Not that I want to test this.)

I went through security. This is more comprehensive than TSA security, and is the second strictest security that I have been through. (The most secure place that I have entered is the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.)

After security, I went upstairs, met my fellow jurors and alternate, and proceeded into the courtroom to hear the opening statements.

As the prosecution attorney began his presentation, he described the scene of the crime.

A parking lot outside a barbershop.

Luckily, the barbershop that I had visited that morning was NOT the barbershop in question. Otherwise, I would have had a big problem.

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