I consider jury duty a very important civic right, so I always show up for it. Because I showed up willing to serve, I would get served at least 2 times a year. I knew the drill, I'd show up with snacks and a physical book because no electronic devices were allowed. Sign in, listen to the speech about how important our service was, watch a couple of movies about how important our service was and then be released.
When I got the federal jury summons, I expected that it would work the same way, so I drove 70 miles to the big city to sit around and then be sent home.
I have always wanted to serve on a jury. I thought it would be interesting and educational. I had no idea how much I didn't want to get picked for that trial. The selection process was interesting. They started with 220 people and had people stand up and raise their hands if any of them met any of the exemptions for serving. The next hour was full of people explaining why they couldn't be gone from their homes for a week and a Native American protesting the trial because the Federal Government doesn't have the right to try a member of a sovereign nation for murder.
We got a break and then the rest of us got questioned one by one. I got picked. Another lady who lived over 300 miles away also got picked. We were gobsmacked. When we showed up we expected to get sent home, we hadn't packed for a week stay in a hotel.
We got paid for the mileage to get there and the mileage to get home. The motel was paid and we got a very generous food allowance. Parking was paid. One jury member had taken a bus to get there, so he was given a bus pass so he could get around.
They treated us very well.
The trial was a nightmare. It was one of the most horrible experiences in my live. It was a tale of poverty, ignorance, isolation and alcohol addiction. With pictures of the victim.
I've done my duty, I will use the old and disabled option next time I'm called. While I know that it was my civic duty to serve, its bee over 4 years and I still sometimes dream about the victim. And the blood.