Tuesday, January 6

1% for Jury Duty

The second morning of jury duty, I sat and chatted with R, the FOF mentioned in last post. He had been called for a case Tuesday but was excused after questioning. It was a prostitution case and he was asked something along the lines of whose responsibility is it to prove innocence? R, remembering his constitution and high school civics, answered correctly and was promptly released.

Right before noon on Wednesday, our day two, the announcement was made that all the cases for the week had been settled and/or plea bargained and we were free to go. I know, it seems a total waste, but I choose to believe that we were important. I believe that our very presence upstairs was an important factor in the pursuit of justice, that our presence is what convinced everyone to negotiate in earnest.

Seattle has a "green" philosophy and an appreciation for the arts. Every civic construction project must include a 1% for the arts portion. Therefore, one sees random bits of art in the unlikeliest places. Since not many people get to serve as jurors in Seattle Municipal Court, here's some photos to show you what you are missing.

A nice little pocket park? Wee bit of green in the big city? Well yes, but

Seattle green roof, Muni building
this bit of green is 12 floors up. This is the rooftop terrace abutting the jury room. The days I was there we had sustained winds of at least 25 miles per hour, but the staff assured us that was not typical. (It was also windy at ground level. I almost got blown over crossing James Street.)

Looking west and down, a nice view of the green roof on the City Council's digs.

Seattle City Council green roof

I almost deleted the next photo. It's just a random skyline photo from the rooftop terrace. With dark grey skies and strong sustained winds and a little point-and-shoot, I just couldn't capture anything unique or worthy. There are lots of better skyline photos of Seattle.

Seattle Skyline

Now for the Art.

I think these floating colorful mesh cloudlike things work as benign addition to the room, especially given that we are on a high level with a sweeping view, but that the view for much of the year will be monochrome grey.


Elevator buttons programmed to play Life. I hadn't read the wall text until the end of the day so didn't know what it was or that one could play with it to start the process.

These three watches are part of a larger display of approximately 150 watches, (identical except for 4 Casios with silver bands). The wall text said that they were synchronized when the artwork was installed in 2005. (Or was it 2002?) It was Tuesday Jan 6th at the time, at about 4:30 PM. I get the being an hour off, but I don't get being two days ahead. I thought this model kept track of the month. If there'd been some leap years, it ought to be behind a couple days. I suppose it doesn't track months, that probably makes the calculations work. When I first saw the art, I couldn't figure out what pattern it was supposed to be, were the watches in some sort of picture or abstractly placed?


It wasn't until I took the photo of the entire piece and looked at it in the view screen of my camera that I saw the pattern.


Jury Duty - live blog

12th floor of muni building is kinda nice, big view of grey mist over downtown Seattle. Rooftop terrace. Free coffee. Comfier chairs than past experiences with jury duty. Free wi-fi.

Not big, maybe 100-200 people here. I'm used to county or Chicago Jury duty, this seems like a tiny pool.

Seattle compensates at $10.00 a day and bus tickets. The first thing when we signed in was a chance to donate that to the childcare center.

TVs set up to show us a "Make a Difference: Jury Duty in Washington State" video. It's almost nine, I bet it starts soon.

-------10:00 AM

Video was little cheesy but actually pretty useful. I wish I had seen that 27 years ago before my first jury summons. Muni court deals with small cases, misdemeanors, duis, etc. Six jurors per case, cases are often one or two days. I may be done by Wed afternoon.

Eliot Bay Books gives 20% discount with juror badge.

----11:15 AM

No one has been called to any courtroom yet. Some people cannot or will not read. I.e. they did not read their summons which was very clear what the length of summons was. Are people stupid or lazy or both.

The outdoor terrace (on the 12th floor) is lovely, what a great view. But oh so windy.

Someone brought in a hardboiled egg to eat. OMG! I love HBE, but only at home, boy are they stinky.

---12:05 PM

They called the first pool for a case after lunch. I was not called, but I heard the name of someone I know! I really would not have recognized him in a crowd, the husband of a friend of a friend, but I have met him a couple times. I wonder if we would have been allowed to serve on the same jury? Since he got called and not me, we will probably never know.

------2:40 PM

bored with jury duty, bored with blogging it. Went to Eliot Bay at lunch break (sorry F, they didn't have the book you want) and got a sub to bring back. Had  nice chat with the FOF for a while before the bailiff came to take that pool away. He's  is younger than me and said he's had like 8(!) jury summons. One other group has been called, but their bailiff hasn't come for them yet.