I managed to get summoned for jury duty on Friday. And although I've done it MANY times, I was still nervous. I'd never served on a jury here in Texas. Surely it was run the same way. Surely.
And knowing all that I know, I knew to fill my purse up with stuff to read and do. Sitting in a jury room can be such a long and tedious thing... waiting to get called into the courtroom. And being that courtrooms are cold, I also came with my largest, warmest coat in tow.
So I show up at my appointed time with fifteen magazines, one coat and a box full of thank you notes that I'd been meaning to write since Christmas. Jury rooms are good for giving you time to catch up on all the undone personal stuff.
In I walked and was that amazed when all of us were immediately ushered directly into the courtroom. No jury room here. Either Frisco couldn't afford one... or they believe in getting right down to business.
Not five minutes had passed when the bailiff entered and introduced the attorney (only one) and the accused.
This was already getting interesting so I stuffed my magazine back into my purse.
I was juror number 7. I didn't quite know what to think when I saw only six chairs in the jury box. I mean I've seen "Twelve Angry Men." Plus I've served on way too many juries. There's always TWELVE chairs.
I was number 7... that had to mean that I was going to at least get interviewed. And I waited for the arduous elimination process to begin.
The case was The State of Texas vs. Jordin Taylor, a cute 18-year-old girl, all dressed up and looking as confident as any thirty year old.
The attorney for the state stood before all of us and asked if everyone was a resident of Frisco. We all were, but that was odd in itself. In California, I've traveled more than an hour to get to various courtrooms to serve. Not that I liked it. When I was summoned to appear at the Frisco court, I honestly thought I'd hit the jackpot! Serving in my own city? Pay Dirt!
But here, it seemed expected that we all lived in Frisco. Odd.
The attorney for the state continued her quick examination of us and only excused juror number 2 because she had strep throat. That mean't that I had a real good chance of getting on this jury. Not that I minded... I like to miss work.
Then it was the accused's (that's probably not a word) turn to grill us. And like the state attorney she grilled us just as well. The young girl stood before us, still confident, and said that she just wanted us all to be fair and just. And she didn't see a need to excuse anyone.
This was the weirdest jury selection I'd ever seen. And yes, that mean't that I had just landed myself on a jury.
Within minutes we were all ushered into the deliberating room while the jury for the next trial was selected. It went just as fast. Not five minutes later, we were back in the courtroom, all six of us, and the trial began. Frisco does not mess around!
I won't bore you with all of the details of the trial.... but I was beyond shocked when I saw that Miss Taylor, the 18-year-old was indeed representing herself. She was some cocky 18-year-old. I could no more do that for myself NOW, that I could've at 18. I hadn't seen enough courtroom dramas at that age.
So what did Miss Taylor do? What was her heinous crime? Why were we all in court listening to her plead her innocence?
You'll never believe it.
Either Frisco doesn't have enough criminals or the Frisco court has too much time on its hands.
Miss Taylor was pulled over for not wearing her seatbelt while driving.
That was it.
As I live and breathe... I would never, ever have expected to be on a jury deciding whether someone had on their seatbelt or not.
And we all deliberated about 20 minutes (it really wasn't all that cut and dry) before we came to the unanimous decision that Miss Jordin Taylor was just a plucky, young 18-year-old, who not only thought she could get out of paying her fine, but had also hoped that the policeman wouldn't show up. But he did.
You can't fight City Hall.
And you can't win against six adults who have all been 18 at one point in their lives.
And you can't find a more crime-free place to live than Frisco, Texas.
And you'd better wear your seatbelt when you drive here. Although, there were six adults in a courtroom yesterday who were excited to have gotten a day off work for this.
And I was home by 3:00. Never even got to put my coat on.
I love Frisco.