Thursday, April 08, 2010

Jury Duty, part II

So, there I am already up in the jury box as juror number 10. They come to me first for the interview and the judge asked me to read from the list and answer the interview questions. Finally, my chance. I could vindicate all the frustrations of the morning listening to the others in the interview process. I could systematically go down this list and answer each question leaving it to the judge to ask any follow up questions and not go off on to any unnecessary tangents. I stated my name, my occupation and how many years I've lived in Santa Clara County. I stated my marital status, what my husband's occupation (I said he is an endoscope technician and a bartender) is and how many adults live in my house. I stated how many children I have, their ages and their occupations. I answered the questions about if I could be fair and impartial, if I knew anyone in the legal or law enforcement community and if I could judge each person's testimony fairly no matter what their occupation, race, religion or creed. I answered if I had ever been a victim, a witness or been arrested for a crime and if anyone in my family or friends had as well.
The judge asked a few follow up questions about J's DUI and about Sergio's arrest back when he was 18.
Then the other 6 went through the interview. One woman, who said she was an engineer, said that when she got nervous she worried about understanding (following along) English.
Groan. Really?
Another guy said he was looking forward to hearing the evidence since it was stated that the defendant had .15 blood alcohol level and was curious how she could be anything but guilty. Again, really?
The defense attorney got up to ask questions and seemed to focus primarily on me. "I'm curious," he said. "What exactly is an inter scope technician?"
I smiled and politely corrected him. "Endoscope Technician."
"Oh," he said. "What is an endoscope technician? I know what a bartender is. Maybe I don't want to know what it is."
Laughter from the courtroom. I explained what my husband's company did and that seemed to satisfy him. Then he asked about his job as a bartender. "He must be around lot of social drinking."
"Yes," I replied.
"And, he (due to the face that he had a DUI) must drink socially as well."
"Yes," I replied.
He moved on to some of the other jurors, then the DA asked some questions. I'm racking my brain to remember what she asked me, but I, for the life of me, can't remember what it was.
What I do remember was her asking the woman who got nervous and forgot English if she would have problems understanding English if it were spoken in other accents (the DA had a slight Indian accent). She (she really cracked me up) said "yes, some."
After she finished her questioning the judge asked them to go ahead with their next peremptory challenges. The defense attorney dismissed the woman next to me.
Then, my favorite words of the day from the DA:
"The people thank and excuse Susan Castillo."
Whoo hoo! I'm done for another two years