I was relieved to eventually be excused jury service this morning. Although I had explained beforehand that I was very hard of hearing and struggled in a group setting even with my hearing aids, I was told that I still had to attend.
After a 2 hour wait in the jury room, all 22 of the potential jurors were taken to be lined up in the courtroom ready for the selection process, The Deemster (judge) sitting up high, shielded behind his plastic screen, began to describe the process, and the name of the defendant, the various witnesses and the nature of the crime were read out. I understand that any of the potential jurors who may have known those being named could ask to be excused on that basis. Unfortunately, I could hear absolutely nothing of this and looked on in confusion as hands were raised and conversations took place. The court usher handed a notebook to a couple of the potential jurors who wrote notes that were passed to the Deemster for consideration. I tapped the usher on his arm as he passed me and told him that I couldn't hear anything of the proceedings. He handed me the notebook and I wrote a short note to explain my problem. With a little tutting and eye rolling, the Deemster and the Advocates agreed to excuse me and I was able to escape.
I was told that I could claim back my bus fare(!) however, I had used my pensioners bus pass so had a free trip into town and back.
As I had been told to be at the Courthouse by 9:15 a.m. P and I had travelled into Douglas yesterday afternoon and stayed overnight at the nearby Premier Inn. Comfortable and budget-friendly and a 2 minute walk from the Courthouse. No battling through the morning rush hour traffic to get there on time.
A big sigh of relief and a coffee at the Sea Terminal coffee shop with P before catching the bus home.
I wonder who the accused was and what he had done, though.
Hi - I found your blog by one of those lockdown rabbit holes and always like to comment. I shall get my bus pass this coming summer - where did all that time go? It makes we both shudder and smile - life and time are blessings. I assume you're resident on on IOM -gosh how long since I was there - must be twelve years - see, time flies...ReplyDelete
Welcome to my blog. It must have been a long and winding rabbit hole that brought you here but I am pleased that you visited.Delete
When our borders reopen you must visit the IOM again. We may not have great weather but the walking is good.
Sounds like your jury service is similar to ours, with some different terminology. I’m a lawyer, although I left the formal practice of law years ago and now work in banking. I’ve been called for jury service three times in my life and once served on a jury on a case in which I knew the lawyers on both sides, one of whom had been a law school classmate. I disclosed all of that, of course, and I guess they decided since I knew both of them, I could be fair and impartial. And I was.ReplyDelete
I would have quite liked to take part but I knew that I would struggle to keep up and that would not have benefited the proceedings very much. I think I was the oldest person in that jury room by at least 20 years!Delete
Glad you did not have to serve--especially under those conditions. Not being able to properly hear the case would be unfair to you--so unbelievably stressful. Having served on a jury for an attempted murder case, I'm happily now old enough to be excused from serving again.ReplyDelete
Yes, although I could hear the Advocates sitting directly in front of me I heard absolutely nothing that the Deemster was saying from up on his bench. It was very frustrating and confusing.Delete
Thankfully my name has never been drawn in the jury lottery. Possibly years ago I would have ‘enjoyed and been thoroughly engrossed’ the proceedings....these days (a bit like you) I think I would struggle.ReplyDelete
I only have another 9 months to go before I am too old to be called again.Delete
I'm glad you got excused. It must have been very frustrating not being able to hear what was going on. Sounds like you had a nice day after it though. xReplyDelete
Sometimes being hard of hearing (I am too)is just such a chore but in this instance I presume you were pleased for it! I miss half of what is said when there is more than one person talking.ReplyDelete
Yes, one-to-one is fine but group scenarios are a nightmare. Also, I have to be able to see a person's face when they talk. Quite often when in a crowd of people I just cannot follow what is going on. It can be very isolating.Delete
Perhaps you will read about it in the papers. Glad you got off. I know that you were dreading it.ReplyDelete
I looked up the Court listings when I arrived home. It seems the young man is a "frequent flyer" 🤨Delete
Obviously, being hard of hearing would pose a serious problem for you, otherwise, personally, I would have found the whole process fascinating.ReplyDelete
I think it would have been very interesting and under different circumstances I may have found it a fascinating experience.Delete
Sounds like you felt like the one on trial - at least you got an 'outing'.ReplyDelete
It got me out of the house!Delete
Are Premier Inn hotels any good JayCee? I often see their adverts on tv.ReplyDelete
They are generally clean, comfortable and very good value for money Dave.Delete
The accused? He had refused to serve on a jury because of alleged hearing problems. As for Deemster and the Advocates - that sounds like the name of an indy band. Never heard the term "deemster" before.ReplyDelete
The Deemster is a judge in the Isle of Man. I read that the name is derived from the term for someone who pronounces sentence or "doom".Delete
I love new words!Delete
We have some great ones here Debby.Delete
"and what he had done"? Oh dear. What he was alleged to have done, please. Innocent until proven guilty in the Isle of Man.ReplyDelete
String him up!Delete
Glad you didn't have to serve. I wear hearing aids and quite often they do not help at all (especially in groups as you have said). I smile and nod but don't know what the hell the topic is. People must think I am goofy sometimes. And you are right - in this age of masks, it is even more difficult to hear. I wish a knew a good solution (without spending lots of $$$ on hearing aids that don't help!)ReplyDelete
Yep. Sometimes I am frustrated that people think that hearing aids provide normal hearing. All they do is amplify the volume but do not clarify the quality of the sound. You just get loud noise!Delete
Well, you had an escape of sorts. Let out of jury service and a trip out with overnight stay into the bargain.
Your hearing difficulties must be a great trial to you but, on this occasion, they were a blessing in disguise. And, of course, it may have been that you would have missed the most juicy parts of the trial if you had been made to stay.
So, best to read all about it in the newspapers and have days out instead.
Yes, I feel that reading about it after the event will be more edifying!Delete
Why on earth did they make you go to all that trouble when you told them up front you would have difficulty?ReplyDelete
They didn't believe me I suppose. Most people are under the impression that if you wear hearing aids you can hear normally. They just don't understand the limitations.Delete
Maybe you'll find out through your local press?ReplyDelete
I'd love to do jury duty but have yet to be called...