ELLEN STERN HARRIS
Recently, I was delighted to be called for jury duty and genuinely looked forward to the experience. What an experience!
By 8 a.m. hundreds of people showed up, as ordered. Nearly half formed a line to be excused, based on claims of financial hardship. No evidence was required. "Hardship" claims may have included those living on substantial trust funds who would rather spend their time in the Bahamas than in the courtroom.
I had brought plenty of reading material but soon found myself using the newspapers to cover myself. That's because the jurors' room was freezing cold and since it was 80 degrees outside, I had not brought a coat. The woman in charge said there was no way she could control the temperature.
She announced that there may be an "on call" program, but there wasn't one now. Had there been such a program it would have allowed us to call a special number by a stated time to find out if we would be needed the following day.