Twelve* Angry Men**

An important-looking letter arrives

I know that jury service is supposed to be a bit of an imposition – but I’m actually looking forward to it in a way. I’m trying to put my finger exactly on why this should be. Partly it’s because I’m nosy – part and parcel of being a writer – and it seems like it would be really interesting. Partly it’s because I’ll be able to claim a massive 9.8p a mile for cycling to Bigtown’s Sheriff Courts for a week (what’s the betting they won’t let me sit on any dangerous driving cases?). But mainly, after the last few weeks I’ve had it’s because the thought of spending a week largely hanging around with nothing to do seems rather appealing …

* Except it would appear it’s 15 in Scotland

** and not all men either. Or, necessarily, angry.

7 Responses to Twelve* Angry Men**

  1. john gibson says:

    I hope it is more interesting for you than it was for me. I have never been so bored it my life.
    Anyway good luck.

  2. Andy in Germany says:

    I’m pretty sure that I’m immune from that, not being citizen here.

  3. Christine says:

    One week? I had to do two. And I got a whole lot of knitting done, there’s a lot of hanging around waiting. Didn’t try knitting in the jury box though

    • Paul M says:

      Eee, that were nuthin’! I’ve done it twice, a fortnight at a time. First time around I got one trial which lasted three days – though how the briefs managed to drag it out that long defeats me, but they did – apparently they get their “refresher” for the entire day if they can ensure that the judge’s summing-up takes them into the following morning.

      Second time round I never even got a trial. Closest I got was an alternate on a panel but no-one was objected to by the briefs so I was excused. The clerk to the jurors then realised I was in week 2 and there was no prospect of a trial which would complete that week so he released me.

      It could have been worse. While I was serving my first round, there was a notorious case there (Guildford Crown Court) dubbed in the “Sun” as the “Spider Sandwich” case. So called because force-feeding his step-children spider sandwiches was just about the only printable thing in the list of allegations against this child-abuser. I vividly remember the matronly old lady sitting in the jury lounge in a break in the case, clacking away with her knitting needles, each click or clack punctuating her words – “If I could get my hands on that bastard, I would tear him limb from limb”.

      I was lucky – some people get boring fraud trials, some get truly awful violent crimes which stay in their heads for the rest of their lives. It must be very distressing.

      I really feel for the Hillsborough jurors. While their fate pales into insignificance next to the victims and their families and friends, I am sure it must at times have been truly awful having to sit and listen, or watch, what was placed in front of them.

      • Christine says:

        I got myself excused the second time I was called, on the grounds of being a working nurse. Couldn’t have tolerated the tedium!
        And agreed about the Hillsborough jury, a life changing, and not enhancing I’d think, experience.

  4. disgruntled says:

    Hopefully Bigtown Sheriff’s court mainly deals with routine stuff and I won’t get stuck with anything too prolonged. All the paperwork seems to imply it’s just going to be for a week, although they’re careful not to promise anything

  5. […] had been sort of joking about ordering knitting wool but at the last minute I did go online and pick up some sock yarn and I’m glad I did because […]

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