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Letters : Idle Time and Embarrassing Questions for Jurors

March 01, 1985

Having just completed two weeks of jury duty at Van Nuys Superior Court, I feel qualified to respond to "Jurors Rest Their Case: Long Wait Guilty of Boredom" (Feb. 3).

The vast majority of prospective jurors appear for jury duty because they consider it to be their civic duty.

Obviously they would prefer to spend that time serving on a jury rather than sitting idly, hour after hour, not knowing from one day to the next if one will be off for a day or two to fulfill one's personal responsibilities.

The overwhelming sense after being on duty for two or three days is that the system does not value the prospective jurors' time when one is "lucky" enough to be seated in the jury box. The pretrial questioning becomes personal and at times embarrassing in front of 30 or 40 strangers. One begins to feel that it is he or she who is on trial.

I suggest that every law school student be required to serve on jury duty, so that when he or she ultimately sits at the counsel table or on the bench, there is a personal frame of reference.

ANITA LEVINSON

Encino

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