Yesterday, I was called for jury duty, and I dutifully appeared. After a whole day of voir dire, I was one of the first peremptory challenges. I knew I would be. I always am. Attorneys just don’t like to have attorneys, even former attorneys on juries.
That is fine, I suppose, but I wonder why I had to sit through all of the process when both attorneys and the judge knew there was no way I would be on the panel.
Now I could have avoided it. There was a general question, “Is there anyone here who, for any reason, thinks they couldn’t be a fair and impartial juror?” If I had answered “Yes,” I would have been dismissed. My second opportunity came when I answered affirmatively to the question “Have any of you ever been involved in criminal defense?” Followed by, “Do you think you could give this defendant an fair trial?” Again I answered “Yes.”
So, since I knew I would be excused from participation in this trial anyway, why not get out early?
Well, I had taken an oath to answer honestly, and I honestly believe, firmly believe, that I could be a fair and impartial juror. So the only way to avoid spending a fruitless day of jury selection would be to lie.
I couldn’t do that.