A while back I was fortunate enough to be selected to serve on a mock jury. They fed me dinner (yummy Panera sandwich pack), paid me $20 AND wanted to hear my opinion! It makes my heart go pitter pat.
I have always wanted to serve on a jury. I thank my mom for that, since she has always enjoyed the experience, and would tell us all about it once the trial was over. I’ve only been able to go to jury duty once. My jury pool was even brought in to the courtroom, but we were the third pool for the same case, so I never even had a chance to speak as they finished up with their selection after only a handful of people.
With my current job, I am the only employee, and thus it would be a financial hardship on the business to let me go, so my service is waived each year.
But this made up for it!
We actually weren’t hearing the case, only seeing potential evidence they might use in court. I signed a confidentiality agreement, so I can’t go into any details, but it was really interesting. I enjoyed it tremendously. About two-thirds of the way through I realized something wasn’t making sense. They weren’t telling us something, and my poor little brain was going crazy trying to figure out what didn’t compute.
As our time was ending, I had my Perry Mason moment!
(Okay, the fact that that was the first legal television reference that came to mind is weird. I watched WAY too much tv during the summers growing up!)
I asked how an earlier impressive-sounding data point applied to the example before us. I was told that they couldn’t give me exact numbers because the number of occurrences of this exact variable were too small. I then asked how we could know that that slide applied at all since there weren’t enough cases to base it on. Seemingly on cue, the assistant handing money out distracted me, and I never got my answer.
As I was leaving, I overheard a discussion between the two attorneys who lead the focus group. “No one ever questions that the two might not be related!” “Everyone else focuses on how rare it is, which must mean there is guilt.” “How did she come up with that?”
For once I wasn’t distracted by bright shiny things, and my not-so-obvious way of thinking might have sunk the case in the jury room! I hope I was able to help them make a stronger case and that they feel they got their $20 worth out of me.