My day in court   Leave a comment

Here I sit in the assembly room…

I thought I had lost my oh so important juror badge… One of my fellow jurors…. Who happens. to be named Cowart as well, helped me find it… It was tangled up around the back of my collar…

My socks are wet… As is the aforementioned collar…. My feet are still tingling….

What happened you might ask…

Perhaps you have read the Grisham book “Runnaway Jury”…. Well let me tell you how I became a runnaway juror….

Duval County Florida prides itself on the efficiency of it’s court system… Especially when it comes to jury selection… To that end they have completely planned out the day of prospective jurors…

Jurors start their day by parking in one of the parking lots at the Gator Bowl… From there they are to be wisked away to the courthouse downtown to begin their day in the spotlight…

I arrived on time… I had planned to take my bacpack and laptop in with me… When I saw all of the other jurors standing around empty handed…. I decided to leave all of my stuff in the car… Well except a Grisham novel and this Blackberry (of course).

I stood for a couple of minutes at the shuttle stop… It was kinda cold…. I remembered the hot cup of coffe I left back in my car and decided to o back for a gulp or 2…

Just as I started sippin’…. The “exclusive ground transportation” (juror bus) arrived… Not wanting to be late… I sat my coffe down and hurried on the bus…

There were a lot of somber and solomn faces getting on the bus…. – thought I’d try to lihten the mood… So I asked the bus driver if this was the bus to the Maic Kingdom…. She laughed and told me to sit down….

On the way to the courthouse this question started running through my mind…. Did I lock my car? My laptop was in there as well as all the other junk I carry around in my backpack…

For the next hour and a half the doubts and questions keep coming back… A t 0942 the baliff calls for a 28 minute recess.

As I walked outside I contimplated my options… My car is at least a mile away…. Could – make it there and back? Should I just chance it and hope I locked the doors or that nobody breaks in…. They had us park in a pretty remote spot… Not in the best neighborhood…

So I started walking… A block or so…. Then I jogged a half block…. Then walked a few steps… A quick glance at my watch showed 19 minutes to go… I started to run in ernest….

It was then I saw the shuttle Bus… heading in the other direction… I thought a bit about whether or not it would come into play later. I hoped it would.

I knew the route… and have run many times in the area… in fact I was retracing much of the last 1.5 miles of the Jacksonville Marine Corps ½ Marathon… a race I’ve done three times. After I’d gotten about halfway I was committed… there was no way that I was going to run like an idiot halfway down the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville and *still* not know if my car was locked or not.

By this point I was pretty well warmed up and ticking along at about a 9 minute mile pace…. In my Air Clark Kents… i.e. wingtips

I never even got to my car… as soon as I got close enough for the keyless system to pick up and I heard the tiny, but reassuring, horn beep I turned around and headed back to the courthouse.

A quick look at my watch showed that I had roughly 11 minutes to cover the 1.5 or so miles back to the courthouse… Just as I was coming to grips with the idea that I was either going to be late, or doing my speedwork a couple of days early this week… I saw the bus heading in my direction. I immediately turned right back around and ran back to the bus stop.

The bus lady gave me a funny look… then said “I think you must have a twin”

I said, “No ma’am… this is my second trip.”

The rest of the experience was entirely uneventful… I was dismissed without ever having my name called. This is, however, the longest message I’ve ever typed on a blackberry. My sweaty socks are dry and my feet are no longer tingling… but my palms are sweaty and my hands are cramping from typing for over an hour on my Blackberry.

That said, I’m going to count this as my workout for the day.

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Posted January 21, 2009 by cowartm in Uncategorized

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