I started jury duty in the US District Court today. I really didn't think I'd be selected for the jury but I was. Obviously, I'm not sequestered.
The process was interesting. We checked in, watched a video, got an orientation to the process which basically repeated the video, and asked questions - most of which were about re-imbursement issues and how long we would be on call. Then a panel of about 50 of us were called to a courtroom. The judge introduced the lawyers, the defendant, the spouse of the defendant and read the names of potential witnesses. We were asked if we knew any of them or anything about the case. We were asked if we had friends or relatives or if we ourselves worked in the area the case is related to. We were asked if we had ever been the victim of a crime. We were asked if we had any conflicts with the projected schedule of the trial or if we had trouble sitting in comfortable chairs all day. Then the judge read the numbers of the selected jurors. I was surprised to be among them.
The officials did a lot all day to keep us happy, they were friendly and accommodating. On the other hand, we are our number; our names were not used a single time past the time we checked in.
We are part of the machine, we are not there as individuals. This is how it should be.