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'Madam Foreman' tries hand at jury duty page 2
This time, I didn't just get called for jury duty. I actually was picked to be part of two trials.

Date published: 11/9/2012

By Cathy Dyson


Mainly, I wondered why I was picked this time. The judge said not to take it personally when you're rejected from the jury--and when I was in the past, I did, of course. I wondered if it was how I looked or carried myself or what I do for a living.

After being selected, I have the same questions. I also wonder if I somehow look more sympathetic or intelligent in my 50s than I did when I was in my 40s or 30s.

I like the formality of the court system, the way the "Madam Foreman" hands the verdict to the bailiff, who gives it to the judge, who reads it, then passes it to the clerk, who announces it.

I did not like the way my name, as foreman, was read after the verdict.

I was somewhat surprised by the demographics. Both days in court, I didn't see a single person of color among potential jurors.

Young people were hard to come by, too. I saw a woman who might have been in her late 20s on the second court day, but am certain most of the jurors were mid-30s or older.

Females clearly were in the majority. On the first day, when 12 jurors were needed, 10 of those picked were women. The second time, six of seven were women.

One of the token males on the first jury joked afterward that he thought women would go easy on the defendant.

He was surprised we found her guilty so quickly.

Guess he hasn't reached the same verdict that's obvious to me--and clear to attorneys who pad the jury box with females. Women aren't just the kinder and gentler sex, they're also the smarter one.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
Email: cdyson@freelancestar.com

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