“Voir Dire” (Jury Duty – Day One)

I was seated on a jury late this morning. And let me just say what a fascinating process this is!

I arrived at 8am and gathered with other potential jurors, about 200 of us, I ‘d estimate, in the Juror Assembly Room at the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle. After we sat through a variety of orientations, courtrooms started requesting jurors. 50 selected at random were off to one case. 45 to the next. Me, I was part of 32 assigned to a courtroom on the 9th floor. Of the 32, I was juror #14.

So from that 32, 13 were ultimately selected, me being one of these 13. The whittling down process took place over about 2 hours. Three or four people were sent back to the assembly room, having requested to be excused because of the nature of this case (I can’t talk about it until it’s over, other than to say it’s a civil case). Then the “voir dire” process began.

That’s right, voir dire. Two French words (voir – see; dire – say). Basically, what it means is that the lawyers interview the potential jurors to weed out bias. They “see” us, I guess, and get us to “say” things. Actually, Wikipedia explains it better.

So I’m on a jury and the trial is expected to last three days. Today’s picture is of me riding the escalator from the downtown Seattle bus tunnel, a block from the courthouse.

4 thoughts on ““Voir Dire” (Jury Duty – Day One)

  1. When I was called for jury duty, I was absolutely floored that a man who PLAYED a lawyer on TV was in the video to ‘splain it all to us. WTF? He wasn’t really a lawyer, people!!
    So, Andy, do they still show you the video with Perry Mason/Raymond Burr? Last time I was there was about 10 year ago!!

  2. I hope you continue to have a positive experience. Dad and I are betting that you will end up the foreman. I have been on 8 – 10 juries since we moved here. Been called at least 20 times. Friends think it would be ‘fun’. I find it a very interesting but sobering time to have someone’s life in ones hands. The hardest one was when I was the hold out and was told by one of the other jurors that I was stupid to not realize the defendant was guilty. That juror told us after looking at the defendant he knew she was guilty and proceeded to read his business journals from then on including while we were deliberating. Thank goodness that doesn’t happen every time. We’ll be interested to hear about your experience.

  3. Quelle expérience ! We follow your story with interest . What a responsability to be in that fonction . A bientôt bises romain et Frédérique

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