This was my first day ever to be called for the dreaded, or loved, jury duty. It was something I hoped to escape altogether, but with only two days left in my window of service, I got called in. Being a product of our popular culture, I envisioned my experience as a juror playing out much like a scened from popular shows like Law & Order, Bones or CSI. Some of you followed my tweets (learn more about Twitter from fellow blogger and Twitter Master Mike Hyatt here) during my illegal postings from the courtroom throughout the morning. Here’s 6 ways real life courtroom is different from your favorite tv courtroom.
- No musical score. I’m not just talking about the high-energy, fast-beat fare heard in “Boston Legal” episodes. There’s no music, no sound, no nothing. We just sat in this cold room with no ambient noise. Musak would’ve been awesome.
- People are not as pretty as their television counterparts. No handsome lawyers in Armani suits, buff deputies or beautiful women of the jury like you’d see in Law & Order or in the old “LA Law.” This is Middle Tennessee, what can I say?
- No high-tech, CSI-like animated presentation of the evidence in cool flat screens. We had a Sony Triniton TV circa 1995 sitting on a cart, an easel with cardboard with black and white charts on it . I think I saw a flanelgraph for recreating the crime scene.
- Real-life lawyers are a lot less clever than tv attorneys. After listening to the prosecuting attorney de-briefing the jurors, I was under the impression he was getting paid by the word. So many words–so little meaning. He would not make it in Twitterland.
- Everyone knew the defendant was guilty of DUI before the trial got started. “It’s hard to walk a straight line if you’re nervous with blue lights all around you, don’t you agree?” Yeah, right. And with that pre-qualifying statement, I cast my vote: guilty.
- No drama. There’s more drama getting my kids up and ready for school than what happened today. No outbursts or even any name calling. [in all fairness, however, I didn’t stay for the real thing]
Fortunately, I was dismissed before the real trial began. I might be called back tomorrow. If so, I’m taking my own musical score with me: remember Ally McBeal?