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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Never Enough Jury Observations Department
Today I was selected to serve on a jury--and of course I cannot comment on the case itself. But, I was intrigued with two elements of being on a modern jury in Washington State. First, jurors are allowed to take notes during the trial, as long as they do so using the notepad provided by the court. You must leave the notes behind when leaving the courtroom, but the jury gets to use the notes during deliberation. That's an incredible addition to the jury's resources. But, that's not as great as the ability to write questions for witnesses. The bailiff gathers the questions--written on sheets with cover sheet, so other jurors can't see the questions--and then the judge shares the questions privately with the attorneys before deciding which questions should be allowed. Aside from clearing up any questions we might have about the case, the interactivity certainly makes one feel much more involved.
I'll mention the case itself later--once there's a verdict. (No names.)