I seem to get a jury summons every 3 or 4 years and have had to report to the courthouse in maybe half those instances. We have one those antiquated “call in the night before” systems.
I served on a grand jury in the summer of 2017 and it was actually quite interesting. Some of the cases were pretty nasty: child abuse, rapes, miscellaneous assaults, and similar unpleasantness. A lot of it was boring domestic squabbles. Usually it was something cut-and-dried: somebody was caught on camera stealing from the Wal-Mart or someone was caught by a neighbor beating on their spouse in the back yard or whatever petty small-town shit bored tweakers do. One thing I remember though was a case the DA deliberately made confusing by dragging in various witnesses without introductions, talking about how so-and-so was in jail and wouldn’t be able to testify for like 2 weeks, and only after all these little random bits were dropped haphazardly in our lap did they actually explain who they wanted to charge, what the charge they were pursuing, and what the details of the alleged crime was. We were so confused that we had really no choice but to vote not to bring charges, which I’m sure was exactly what the DA planned.
I did learn that our POS county sheriff has spend trainloads of county funds over the years buying game cameras to put all over creation to, according to the local constabulary, catch drug dealers in the act. So they’ve been placed in pretty much every public park, every crossroads, Every pull-out along the local highways, and absolutely littered across the traditionally sketchy parts of town. Thousands of these cameras are installed all over the county and the sheriff’s office has a couple of officers whose sole duty is to monitor the cameras. I wasn’t too happy about that.
The worst case was a young pre-teen girl who had to testify to us about her dad raping her on the front lawn in broad daylight. After she had finished and left the room I asked the DA to give her our kudos for her bravery in testifying to us.
The worst part of the whole experience was the jury foreman who happened to be my parent’s neighbor when I was growing up and had a serious hate-on for my and my brother. He had and IQ of about 3 and his behavior closely resembled that of a mentally deficient Warner Bros. cartoon character. 20 years after enjoying his hobby of standing on the side of the road screaming at me as I drove home from school every day he failed to recognize me nor did he ever do so the 3 months we were on the jury together – despite the fact that we all knew each other’s names. How he managed to get empaneled let alone be made foreman I’ll never know.
I was empaneled for a trial jury once. There were a lot of boring aspects to it – it certainly wasn’t the drama that TV makes trials out to be. But it was interesting and I actually felt bad for the defendant. He was charged with pulling a gun on a cop who was serving him an eviction notice. We found him guilty (we came very close to finding him not guilty, which likely would’ve surprised everyone in the courtroom) and he received a sentence of 5 years in prison IIRC.
Now that I think about it I’m due for a summons before too long.