Day Two of Voir Dire, 10/13/10

Another long and draining day of Voir dire, this time with group 2 of potential jurors. (And another long day of uncomfortable airline-ish seating.) Cramped knees aside, voir dire is a very intense process and can be very stressful to watch, to say nothing of the tension the jurors being questioned were under. Like many of the processes we have had to go through to get to this point, it’s necessary, and must be done… but going through it sucks at the time.

I had an added level of frustration today. There were so many jurors and potential jurors crowding the hallway, my friend Mala and I decided to just camp out on the 2nd floor where the DAs live. We figured we would know when to head upstairs when the DAs came out. It was a good plan. Except that they didn’t. Both DAs apparently took the back route to the courtroom and by the time we realized that court was already in session. Strike one.

When the court broke for lunch, we approached the bailiff to ask his advice. While the only jurors we have to avoid are the ones for our particular court, we have no way of knowing who they are. The bailiff said that if we sat at the extreme end of the hallway, he would look for us and let us know when we could enter the courtroom. So, we parked at the extreme end, opposite the men’s room, and tried not to notice the comings and goings. Unfortunately, we also did not notice any kind of high sign that we were safe to enter the room. Suddenly the jurors outside our particular courtroom filed quickly through the doors, and we had to frantically gather our things and (in my case) hobble to the opposite end of the building. Again, proceedings had already started by the time we took our seats. Strike two.

Strike three only applies to me. I ran through all the yarn I brought with me and was left staring at a naked crochet hook. I had nothing to do with my hands other than writing inane comments in my notebook. I started casually looking around to see if there was anyone wearing a sweater that I could surreptitiously unravel a bit. No dice. I have a whole trial to get through. How am I going to keep my hands out of mischief and my blood pressure at a decent level?

As luck would have it, I returned home this evening to find that a kind reader had taken pity on me and sent me a nice big box of yarn. There it sat on my doorstep, waiting to save me from incredible depths of irony and snarky comments. My notebook can just be for notes, and my idle hands will not wander into any forbidden areas (or unravel anyone’s sleeve). Sigh of relief. The day is saved.


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