Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Memories of a Sequestered Juror

The trial I was a juror on was a capital murder trial.  We went into deliberations on a Friday at 11:30 and at 6:00pm the judge sequestered us and placed us in the custody of the sheriff until Monday at 9am. After I get back from California {we leave Thursday am and I am so not ready!} I have lots I want to share about the process and all that I learned.  But for now here are a few of the lighter memories of my time as a sequestered juror. 

{FYI Sequestered means we stayed in a hotel here in town with no tv, no phone, no radio, no newspaper, and never in the company of someone else (another juror or a family member) without also being in the company of a sheriff's deputy. We each had our own rooms with the tv and phone disabled and the clock/radio removed. Our bags were searched, our phone calls monitored, our rooms searched before we arrived and after we left. We were there from Friday at about 9pm until Monday at 8am and never once went anywhere other than the 3rd floor and the lobby}

1. Calling my husband on a Friday night to tell him I was being sequestered and asking him to pack every SINGLE thing I would need for the next three days and nights was a HOOT! Bless his heart, it was a LONG list. {every piece of makeup I use, every hair care product, etc} I wish I could have seen his face!

2. Riding down Texas Avenue {a very busy main street} on a Friday night with 11 other people in a Brazos Transit bus with 2 deputies inside, 2 sheriff deputy cars in front of us, and 2 behind us was surreal. I'm sure we looked like criminals.

3. Arriving at the hotel to find a slew of deputies there to see us to our rooms was so funny.  Our rooms all had door tags on them with our first initial and last name.  I can only imagine what the other hotel guests thought.

4. Being in a hotel room with a disabled tv, no clock or radio, and no phone is QUIET.  Seriously quiet.

5. Having to ask a deputy to use your phone, have each call logged and listened to, definitely cuts down on your phone calling and texting.

6.Not having a clock {or a phone} in a dark hotel room ensures that you will wake up a million times wondering what time it is. 

7. You can learn all sorts of things from sheriff's deputies. Like....did you know that you are not allowed to have makeup in jail? Well you aren't.  So you know what they do? They buy Skittles and get them wet and rub them on their faces.  Isn't that a hoot? Can you imagine? {and it does work because I triple dog dared one of the other jurors and HE did it! so wish I had a picture of it!}

8. Most of the witnesses in our trial had real names, nicknames, aliases, and some even had 2nd nicknames.  As a result we spent lots of time trying to figure out who was who.  During our sequestering we gave each other street names.  Our 12 Jurors Street Names: Game, Skip, Cards, Bookie, Shark, TM {Trouble Maker}, DJ, Baby Mama {she's pregnant}, Pitiful, Sha-Sha {that's me}, Smooooth, and Sharp.  {NOTE TO SELF: NEVER tell people your most hated nickname or they will call you that ALL THE STINKIN TIME!}

9. Several of the witnesses talked about their brother's baby mama or their baby mama.  One of the sweet older ladies on our jury obviously hadn't heard that term before and I laughed so hard I cried when during deliberations she looked at her notes and said.......
"Now he said something about his baby mama.  Was he calling his mama a baby?"
I seriously could NOT stop laughing.  What a hoot! 

10. The other jurors are now my fun new friends and we are throwing a baby shower for Baby Mama as soon as she finds out what she is having.  Isn't that fun? A jury baby shower!  Maybe we should invite the judge? And our sheriff deputy friends? {probably not the witnesses though}