Saturday, April 20, 2024

Update - Jury Duty

I wrote in yesterday's post that I had received a summons for jury duty in Ohio.  When I called the courthouse, the lady said that as long as I am a registered voter in Cuyahoga County, I am obliged to serve, even though I am living 2,500 miles away and it would cost me at least a couple thousand dollars in airfare, hotel room, car rental and restaurants.  But it would cost me a LOT more if I were selected for the jury of lengthy trial.  

Previously, I had only been summoned twice in my life for jury duty.  The second time, the defendant pled guilty, and I was dismissed after a couple of days.  However, my first time serving on a jury was a much different story.  It was the summer after I retired from teaching, and I was selected as a jury member for a murder case.  At first, I was excited about the experience, but my enthusiasm waned as we heard day after day after day of testimony.  The case, which received national attention, involved an insurance agent who was accused of murdering his wife.  At first, I could not say that I was convinced of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  But by the time we went into deliberation, I was sure that he was the murderer.  I forget how many days we deliberated without reaching a unanimous decision.  We were deadlocked at 9 to 3 in favor of conviction.  The judge finally declared a mistrial, and we were dismissed after a month of serving on the jury.  (The defendant went to trial again, and there was another hung jury... 10 to 12 against him.  The third trial ruled that he was not guilty.  He escaped conviction, but if he was indeed the murderer, karma came after him.  He was financially ruined, and he died at the age of 66.)

Anyway, thoughts of that trial went through my mind as I thought that I would have to return to Cleveland.  I would not be happy if my minimum of five days stretched into several weeks.

Yesterday, my first full day back in Mexico City, I called the courthouse again.  I talked with the same lady, and she remembered me.  Perhaps she had talked with someone else about my situation.  This time she said that once they received the form I had sent with my new address, I would be excused from jury duty.  So, I guess that I don't have to worry about returning to Ohio next month nor being arrested the next time I fly into Cleveland.        


  1. I live in dread that I’ll be called before I’m 75. The last time, my various physical problems got me excused with a note from my Doctor. I don’t look forward to hitting the half way to 80 mark, or having more spine/hip/knee issues, but let someone who is excited to listen to murder testimony have the honor!

    1. Hopefully, the woman knew what she was talking about, and I have been excused.