We all have certain social obligations we could just as soon live without, but jury duty has recently climbed to the top of my please-let-me-avoid-this list. When I first received the jury summons, I'll admit I was sort of interested to see how the process works. Now that I've performed my civic duty, however, I won't mind in the least if I never have to do it again. I've spent the last three days at the Denver City & County building, mostly waiting with groups, large or small, of other similarly bored citizens. First we sat for hours in a large room, waiting to see if we would be called. Once called, we sat in a group of 20 for several more hours in a hallway, waiting to go through the selection process. Unfortunately I must come across as a normal, fair-minded person, so I was selected for serve on the jury for a trial. The next day we came in, sat down, and ... waited for hours to be called into court. And yesterday they made us sit in the jury room -- a small room with four bare white walls save for a really loud clock -- and made us sit all morning and half the afternoon to wait for the trial to resume. Ugh. On the bright side, they do excuse you for breaks when possible, and there are several nearby spots that offer free entry for jurors. You can pop into the Denver Art Museum (though most of the exhibits are closed due to construction), the Colorado History Museum, or The Byers-Evans house and get free entry. There's always the Denver Public Library to kill an hour or two, or the always-entertaining people watching along the 16th St. Mall. And jurors are handed a list of eight local restaurants that offer discounts to us poor souls stranded in the county courthouse for days. Despite these "perks," I think next time I'm called I may be tempted to act like a narrow-minded, totally judgemental ass. Or, at the very least, I'll be sure to bring a really good book.
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