Juror Number 77547
The letter finally came my way. I was summoned for jury duty. My first day to report was August 31. As the day got closer, I realized the significance. I would be one of the jurors reporting to possibly sit on the Jason Stinson (PRP Coach) trial. There were at least 300 people in the jury waiting room. Our orientation was decent but we were able to meet some of the judges. The most personable and entertaining was recently elected Erica Lee Williams. By 1:00pm, I was still sitting there bored. Then they started calling numbers. Over a 100. We knew these were the people called for the Stinson case. “77547″ That’s me! I knew I wouldn’t be ultimately chosen since I worked directly with three of the assistant coaches soon after the incident happened to make sure they were fairly represented, but it was content to be part of the initial chosen.
The first day they only asked one question. Our service was for two weeks, but the trial could take up to four. They wanted to know who would have a scheduling conflict. Some talked about out of town weddings or scheduled surgeries. I raised my hand and stated I’d be in NYC this weekend and Las Vegas next weekend. At the end of the afternoon, they dismissed 12 of the 120 jurors – including myself.
I reported back the next day, and once again my name was called as a potential juror. This time a disabled woman was suing TARC for over $400,000 for falling while on board and breaking her femur. I was one of the 15 jurors selected to hear the case. The details: the bus was coming to a stop, the lady lost her balance, fell and broke her femur. She says the driver slammed on the brakes. The driver says she just simply lost her balance. Who was at fault – the lady or TARC? After two days of hearing the case, we went behind closed doors. I was elected the foreman (woman) of the group and we had a unanimous vote in favor of TARC in less than five minutes.
For the rest of the two weeks I was called for three more cases and was able to serve on two more. Those two dealt with disability cases where they were trying to get a guardian to handle the personal and financial matters. It was sad to hear what the people were going through, but good that other people cared enough about them to make sure they are properly assisted.
I actually enjoyed my term of jury duty. I met a lot of different people from different backgrounds. The judicial process is an interesting one and the cases heard in each courtroom vary widely. I felt good to know you were making a difference. The worst part for me was sitting in the jury waiting area. I wasn’t there too much. However, since they don’t want you to watch the news and be influenced by the media, they try to find a channel everyone can watch. Being in fitness training, it didn’t help at all to have to sit and watch the Food Network! The timing of jury duty was the perfect time for me to be away from work for two weeks and the next time the summons letter comes my way – I’ll have a better appreciation of what to expect.
M.Y. September 2009