I’ve been summoned for jury duty in several states, and although the selection process is different depending on where you live, the purpose is the same.  Yesterday it was my turn, again. Some people come up with interesting ways to get out of it. One young woman in my group was dressed more appropriately for a booty call than jury selection even though the dress code was stated clearly on the summons. I heard one woman say she wouldn’t update her facebook status if she got dismissed, because she wanted the day off, her boss doesn’t have anything better to do, I guess.

Some people think jury duty, like voting,  is a waste of time. I don’t speak for them. However, I do understand why they equate the two, because we all know the truth, money talks.

This was the second time in less than five years I’ve had jury duty. The difference this time is that in an effort to expedite the jury selection process, an online questionnaire was provided in advance. There were routine questions – name, address, date of birth, etc. Some additional information was needed to assist the court in determining if I would make a suitable juror. All answers on the digital voir dire must be true and correct, affirmation of such is done by clicking YES next to “Do you swear or affirm that all the answers to this questionnaire are true and correct.”

I wondered how the information would be used.

Level of education, of course, is needed to be sure we can read and follow instructions. Marital status, how many children we have and their ages is needed to let the court know how close we are to going crazy.

Okay, I get it, for the sake of fairness, it’s important for some information to be recorded.

Here are the questions which I found a little more than irrelevant to determine if a potential juror can draw a conclusion based on evidence.

1) What is your religious preference?

Maybe jurors in the past requested excessive breaks to practice their religion; maybe during deliberations they suddenly began speaking a language no one else could understand. Maybe this question is to determine what deli trays in the jury room should include.

2) List hobbies and personal interest.

This question must be to route out anyone who grows “hybrids” for personal use or perhaps to identify bloggers.

3) What TV shows do you enjoy or watch regularly?

Selecting people who watch CSI, Law & Order, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Lifetime, WE or 24 hour news channels might result in a jury sequestered at the Starlight Motel pooling their six dollars a day to purchase oxytocin and viagra.

4) List newspapers, magazines, or other publications that you read.

Twelve people who read, well, we all know what that could lead to.

5) List clubs or groups to which you belong.

Which would throw up a red flag? Meat Dress Quilters Guild or Gummy Bear Textile Society?

6) Please describe your use of alcoholic beverages.

Oh, this one I cannot even begin to understand. Please describe my use of alcoholic beverages? Do they want to know if I use red wine to tie dye white shirts? Beer to wash my hair? If I say I think tequila can get you pregnant, it may be true, but is that really the kind of answer they’re looking for?

7) Rank the following highest to lowest according to what you believe the goal of the criminal justice system should be:

• REHABILITATION – to reform the offender

• DETERRENCE – to prevent or discourage other crimes

• PUNISHMENT – to punish for the crime committed

The question, not to be confused with what you believe the goal actually is, must mean I shouldn’t consider the less obvious goal of having potential jurors sit outside the courtroom, giving attorneys passing by with their clients a way to persuade them to take a plea deal.

There were 24 questions in all, but these are the ones that gave me pause. The system isn’t perfect, but I wonder if it isn’t working exactly as intended.

4 thoughts on “Jury Duty

  1. I wonder, too, about these questions. In a different context they might be entertaining, otherwise they’re disturbing — on several levels.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I agree with you. It is disturbing and the questions received the answers they deserved – I ended up leaving most of them blank. Compulsory service, in my opinion, should not require such personal disclosure. The whole experience proves, to me at least, who the system is designed to benefit. The only way I knew to present the issue was with humor. Ranting usually gets me nowhere and often gives me a headache.

  2. Brigitte says:

    Honie, I don’t know why but I’ve never been called to jury duty. Most people I know have. I had no idea of the questions they posed to people but seriously, your answers are hilarious and I don’t know why you don’t have more followers. Gawd, woman your take on life, your observations are so spot on…please keep us informed and keep the funny coming because you are on to something here. xxoo

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Hey there Brigitte – well, you must be doing something right if you’ve managed to stay under the radar. Way to go! Your encouragement is appreciated. Thanks!

Comments are closed.

Choctaw Nation

EDU 497.04


What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

A Year of Living Kindly

adventures in trying to live a life of kindness

church ov solitude

We are all just babes in the woods.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Editor at Longreads. Automattician since 2012. Californian since 1979. Junglist for life.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

Growing older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

Mark My Words


fabricating fiction

Louise Jensen - Writer - www.louisejensen.co.uk

Granola Shotgun

Stories About Urbanism, Adaptation, and Resilience

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Björn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side


All the Blogging That's Fit To Print

Amanda Mininger

Writer | Author

The Brown Road Chronicles

Stories about country living, old houses, dirt roads, fresh air and other amusing (and possibly even inspirational) anecdotes!

What's So Funny?

Russell Gayer, author speaker

Elan Mudrow



Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

This, that and the other thing

Looking at life through photography and words


Just another WordPress.com site

Midlife Crisis Crossover!

Viewing the non-geek world through geek lenses. And sometimes vice versa.

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl


Writing for my life


Wrought words and images


Smart and surprising

Geometry & Silence

Photography by Quintin Lake


Stories, poems, photos and bumbles for the soul

QBG_Tilted Tiara

Philosophically Speaking the World in Motion

Georgette Sullins's Blog

My view of the cow parade

Meeka's Mind

the passions of a science fiction writer

rona black photography

occasional visual essays

Michael Lewis Glover | Fine Art Photography

Architectural, HDR, Nature, & Landscape Photography

the eff stop

Adventures of a shutterbug

S.W. Lothian - Author

Amazing YA Thrillers and Irresistible MG Time Travel

The Blue Page Special

Savoring books and food

%d bloggers like this: