court procedures

Jury Duty in Toronto – Part 1

I thought I’d give you the scoop about what happens when you report for jury duty. When I received my summons, the first thing I did was search for “jury duty in Toronto,” so I could get an idea of what to expect. Most of the blog posts I found were several years old. I’m writing this one in June, 2014. See the end of the post for an update from someone who was called for jury duty in September, 2016, from another person called in January, 2018, and from yet a third person called in April, 2018.

A few months before I received my summons, a form arrived in the mail from the sheriff (which made me snicker, because I imagined someone with a Stetson on their head and two revolvers at their hip). As required by law, I answered the questions that were asked to determine my eligibility for jury duty, stuck the form in the mail, and forgot about it. When my summons arrived from the sheriff, I thought, “Uh oh.” Then I snickered.

In Toronto, they summon a new group of people each week. Being summoned for jury duty doesn’t mean you’ll sit on a jury. It means you’ll be in the pool of people from which they’ll select jurors for trials that will start during that week.

You report for jury duty on a Monday, unless that’s a holiday, which happened in my case. I was summoned to show up on May 20, the day after Victoria Day. I had to be there at 8:30 a.m. There’s only one entrance into the courthouse, and you have to go through security (you pass through a metal detector, and bags, pocket contents, etc. go through an X-ray machine).

Once inside, I reported to the jury room and lined up again. When I got nearer to the front of the line, my mouth dropped open. Nothing is computerized. When it’s finally your turn, you hand over your summons, and the jury constable looks you up in a binder and marks a dot in one of the five boxes next to your name. Yikes.

Everyone summoned for a given week is divided into four panels: blue, red, green, and purple. You find out which panel you’re in when you check in, and you have to sit in your panel’s designated area, in a large room in which you’ll spend many hours to come. I was in the red panel. I sat at a table with five other people and watched the room fill up.

At about 9:15, we were shown a video about how important jury duty is. It was typical government sappy-happy stuff. After that, the guy in charge for the week talked for around 20 minutes about the rules. Then he asked those who couldn’t stay to raise their hands. About a third of the room did so.

There are three reasons you can be dismissed for the week:

1. You have a chronic medical condition
2. It’s bad timing (vacation scheduled, important appointment), so you want to defer to another week. But you have to choose, right there and then, which week you’ll show up instead. You can’t just say, “Not this week,” and then leave. So if you’re thinking of scheduling something during the week you’ve been summoned as a way of getting out of jury duty, it won’t work. All you’ll do is delay the inevitable.
3. I’ve forgotten. It might have been that you don’t understand English well, but I could be remembering wrong.

All right, so while those who want to be dismissed are filling out the appropriate forms, the rest of us start waiting. And waiting. And waiting. You can chat, read, use your tablet or laptop (there’s free Wi-Fi), knit, do anything that won’t disturb the people around you. There are games and puzzles in the room, but I didn’t see anyone use them. There’s a snack bar off the jury room that offers tea, coffee, and a small selection of snacks. Bathrooms are also off the jury room.

If you leave the room, you have to leave your summons with the staff, and you can only leave for 10-15 minutes. You’ll generally break for lunch anywhere between noon to 1:00. You have to be back by 2:00-2:15.

Remember I said nothing is digital? You have to check in again when you come back from lunch. When you do so, they move a scrap of paper with your details on it from one pile to another. Why don’t they include a barcode on your summons, and then have the staff scan the barcode to check you in and out? Of course, the staff would have tablets or laptops, rather than a binder of paper. Seriously, we’re in 2014, here.

The first day I was there, the green panel was called out for jury selection. Also, people were asked to volunteer for a coroner’s inquest that would take place in June. They wanted about 15 people for a constable to interview the next day. Those who volunteered were let go for the day. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t want to commit to anything in June. I was hoping to be done by the end of the week.

The rest of us were let go around 3:45. We were getting restless around 3:00, because we were told that court usually ends at 4:30, and we figured they must know by 3:00 whether they’d need to call another panel for jury selection.

This leads into: there must be a better way. That’s what we all kept muttering to ourselves. There must be a better way to select juries, than to have a large group of people show up and twiddle their thumbs for up to a week. I understand that they can’t reliably predict when exactly trials will start, but surely they can have a rough idea by each Monday/Tuesday.

One woman who’d previously been summoned when she lived in Barrie said that they had to go for three consecutive Mondays. They’d choose all the juries they needed for the week, and those who weren’t chosen were then let go until the following Monday. Toronto is a larger courthouse with more going on, but still.

Also, when I was searching for jury duty experiences, I came across a comment by an Australian who was surprised that we all have to physically traipse down to a courthouse and sit on our asses. He said that when he did jury duty, they didn’t have to show up unless they were called the night before and told they were needed. So all they had to do was make sure they were available during that week, just in case.

(Update: See the updates at the bottom of the post. This process is being improved. Not everyone is called for a Monday.)

Okay, so when we were let go on Tuesday (the first day for us, since it was a holiday weekend week), we were told to show up the next day at 9:30 (you only have to show up at 8:30 on the first day). We all did so. Nothing happened. We spent the day sitting on our bums. Lots of grumbling.

On Thursday morning, no movement again. When lunchtime was approaching, I thought, “Nothing’s happening. There’s a good chance we’ll be dismissed for the week.” They say you have to show up for the entire week, but in practice, most of the time the group is dismissed Thursday or early on Friday (sometimes even on Tuesday or Wednesday!), because they’ve determined that no more jury selections will take place that week.

So, I’m feeling optimistic that the hours of reading and chatting are coming to an end, and I’ll have done my duty.

Not so fast.

About 11:30, my panel (red) and the purple panel were called for jury selection. In my next post, I’ll tell you what happens during that phase. Read Part 2

If you’re here because you’ve been summoned and want to know what it will be like, my advice is to take something to do. Depending on the week, you could be called in and out for jury selection, or you could spend hours amusing yourself.

Also, sit in the back of the room, near the windows. The A/C or heat, depending, is stronger there. On the first morning, I sat in the front of the room, and man, it was hot! After lunch, I moved to the back of the room, and it was much cooler. A woman nearby said that it was her second time there, and she’d remembered from the last time to sit near the windows.

Oh, and hang on to your summons. Once you’ve completed your jury duty, they can’t summon you for three years, but according to the staff, sometimes they do. So keep that piece of paper!

Update: April, 2018

This update comes from Radtalk, who was almost selected for a jury! I was happy to see that forms were handed out that people could complete if they wanted to be excused. No more announcing one’s personal business in front of a bunch of strangers, at least this time.

Here’s what Radtalk said:

Entrance Security:
• Same as what you’ve described. Travel mugs, food, water bottles were allowed (mine was 1L). Men were – at times- scanned again with a handheld scanner. Coats can be left on; empty all pockets of anything metal.

Check-in:
• Still the same plus no Govt. I.D. reqd. I guess nobody impersonates others for jury duty! 😉
• NO tea, coffee counter – removed due to budget cuts?
• All announcements can be heard inside the WR – phew!
• Lockers (25-cent refundable fee) – I didn’t use them.
• 5- 6 laptop workstations and other large tables (dining table height).
• There was on-screen glare on my tablet from windows and overhead lights.
• Wi-fi is ok – I used a VPN which may have slowed it more.
• Water fountains are in the corridor outside.

Panels (Blue, Red, Purple & Green):
• Mon (left at 3.30), Tue (2.45) with final dismissal on Wed (12.30). Expect rinse and repeat until Fri. as it all depends on that week’s scheduled trials.
• Blue got called twice (Civil) and once for Green (?) and Red (Criminal). Nothing for Purple.
• Day 1 – full by 8.15, emptier once people were excused. Day 2 – tons of empty seats and rows.
• Lunch breaks can be random. On Mon: 12.30 to 2 and Tue: 12.30 to 1.30.

Duty calls:
• On Tue. post-lunch, Red panel was divided into 2 groups by ballot (same as yours). The judge even asked persons to clarify their work before retirement. Lawyers, defendants and family were present. Expected trial length was over 2 months (max. no. of weeks was given).
• A questionnaire and form (to be excused) was to be handed over in court next day. We were advised a question about prejudice & race would be permitted and not to take it personally if we were not accepted.
• On Wed., we were called in one at a time to swear or affirm. Jury was almost full from panels of week/s before. Courtroom was also full because the trial began that very day.
• Those excused handed their form to the judge who read out “excused for______” and exited to return to Room 167.
• To all others, the question about race was posed with terms such as “______ (race stated) males/ females”, “prejudice”, etc. NOTE: Pay close attention as several of us (who later compared notes) found its wording a bit tricky even though it’s a Yes/ No response.
• Once you respond, you’re asked to look at each defendant (who had to stand for each potential juror which is a TON of standing-sitting if you do the math as our panel itself had 50 people!) and then at the jury members already in place.
• Then, jury triers and lawyers (in that order) said, “Accept/ content or challenge”. I got accept and challenge (defense).

Post-it (jury) notes:
• It was worth it for a tiny glimpse into the vast justice system and gave me more confidence for whenever next. 🙂

Thanks to Radtalk for the detailed update!

Update: January, 2018

This update comes from Laura, who read my jury duty posts and kindly shared her recent experience with me. Here’s what she said:

I was summoned for jury selection for today (Thursday, Jan 4, 2018) . Thursday selection had us reporting directly to a courtroom for 9 am and when I arrived around 8:45 am over half of the seats were full. (They still use the binders to check you in by the way) As 9:30 rolled around, the courtroom was completely packed with potential jurors – most of the other people I spoke with had a summons for Thursday only, so I wonder if the Monday-Wednesday crowd aren’t included in the potential juror pool. There were so many people they had any of the late-comers sitting up at the desks where the defence and opposition normally sit and where the jury normally sits. We were told as a group that the judge would begin by 10 am (there were many groans in response). However, at about 9:40 the judge came out of his chambers and told us that the case we were summoned for had been resolved without going to trial and our services would not be needed. He went on to thank us all for performing our civic duty and interrupting our lives for something that he admitted would be a tedious and sometimes boring process before he dismissed us all. Nobody was divided into groups, and we weren’t kept in different waiting rooms.

Thanks for the update, Laura!

Update: September, 2016

This update comes from YYZMom, who read my jury duty posts and was gracious enough to share her recent experience with me. Here’s some of what she said:

  1. According to the court officer in charge of the jury group, red, blue, green panels come in on Monday (or Tuesday if it’s a holiday). My summons was for a Wednesday, and there was no holiday this week. So that can happen. We were the “orange” panel, and it was explained that if there are a lot of potential cases scheduled on a given week, they bring in an orange panel on the Wednesday. He called us the “cavalry”. He said that if they find by Wednesday, that the other three panels are getting thin, they have this extra set of people.
  2. He also said there can be panels called in for specific high profile trials that are very likely to need a lot of potential jurors and are assumed to probably take longer times (months). Those are usually a Thursday or Friday summons. If you are called on a Monday/Tues panel, most of the trials you will see are expected to take only days to weeks, max. Being called on a Wednesday is still only expected to be for the short trials.
  3. He finished the explanation about the panels by saying “and if on Wednesday we find we still have a lot of potential jurors in our other panels, the orange panel is just dismissed. Which is what I’m doing. Right now.”  (Sarah says: Yep, her group was dismissed right away, so it can happen!).
  4. He told us to save our summons just in case records get lots (yep, still all on paper, with highlighters and paper slips and a wooden bingo-style turning barrel) but as long as we had checked in properly, we were considered to have fulfilled our civic duty and had earned our 3 year exemption. He said that if you have the day off work, the only information the court will give out is that you served jury duty today. So he said that if you want to, you have the rest of the day to yourself. He did say that this only works for the one day.
  5. The only modern update I can offer is that there a lot of Pokestops around the court building, and if you sit near the window there is at least one that you can collect while you’re sitting inside. I put a lure in it. I collected items every 5 minutes and quite a few pokemon in the hour I was there.

Thanks for the update YYZMom!

Jury Duty in Toronto – Part 2

In my last post I told you about what it’s like to sit around in the jury panel room, waiting for something to happen. I ended the post with my panel being called for jury selection. This week, I’ll describe what happens during that phase.

Okay, so my panel was called for jury selection. I read on other blogs that the panel moved to a smaller room on another floor. We went straight into a courtroom. So where you go apparently depends on whether you’re needed immediately or shortly.

Before this experience, I’d never sat in on a trial, so I had all sorts of preconceived notions from what I’d seen on TV—and mainly on US shows. I thought the jury was selected before the trial began. Jury selection actually takes place during the trial. When we were called out of the jury panel room, we went to an upper floor and directly into a courtroom. The judge, the court registrar, the court reporter, the Crown (what Canadians call the prosecutor), the defence counsel, and the accused were already present. The judge decided he wanted more prospective jurors, so the blue panel was also summoned. We waited for them to arrive.

Once everyone was seated, the charges were read, and the accused (two of them for this case) entered their pleas. Not Guilty. All right, then, the trial will continue, so we need a jury. I’d estimate that there were around 180 prospective jurors, and we only needed 12. Should be quick and easy to choose a jury, right?

Wrong.

Before jury selection began, we were told how long the trial was expected to last (two weeks), and then another round of people who wanted to be excused began. Remember, back in the jury panel room, people had been asked if they couldn’t stay that week. People who had appointments the following week, or who couldn’t afford two weeks without pay (in Ontario, you don’t get paid for jury duty for the first 10 days), could now plead their case. Also, now there was the issue of whether anyone knew the accused, the lawyers, any of the witnesses that would be called (they read us a list), or if they had relatives in the police force.

By the time the judge called for people who fit into those categories, it was a little after noon. It took until around 3:00 to go through everyone who wanted to be excused (we did break an hour for lunch).

I was quite surprised that people who wanted to be excused for a medical reason had to tell the entire court about it. They had to approach the bench and speak into a microphone. Privacy is a hot issue these days, and I was floored that people were expected to go up and reveal private medical details in front of a bunch of strangers. I understand that the judge, the lawyers, and the accused have a right to hear why someone doesn’t want to sit on a jury, but why not dismiss everyone else from the courtroom when the judge calls for those who want to be excused for medical reasons?

All right, so just after 3:00, we were ready to select jurors. The judge explained the procedure to us. After he was finished, I turned to my neighbour and raised my brows, and he did the same. In other words, “Say, what?” It sounded horribly complicated, but in practice, it was straightforward. Rather than cause you the confusion we felt, I won’t try to explain it to you. I’ll just tell you what happens.

Remember those scraps of paper with our details that I mentioned in the last post? Well, those scraps of paper are now in a wooden drum that’s in front of the court registrar.  Here we go:

1. The court registrar (female in our case) reaches into the drum, draws out a slip of paper, and calls out that person’s jury panel number, name, and area of residence (for example, East York, North York, etc.) That person goes to the front of the courtroom. They won’t be a juror. They’ll be a temporary trier. Let’s call him Joe. Joe is asked if he wants to swear or affirm that he’ll execute the duties of a trier to the best of his ability. If he wants to swear, he then chooses from a selection of religious texts, and he holds the selected text in his right hand. If he wants to affirm, he raises his right hand. The registrar reads him the same text either way, except she’ll use “swear” or “affirm,” depending, and she’ll end with “I affirm,” or, “so help me God,” or  “so help me [other god/goddess].” Joe now sits in the jury box.

2. The registrar draws a second name. That person will be the second temporary trier. Let’s call her Sally. Sally is sworn/affirmed and sits in the jury box.

3. The registrar now draws the name of the first potential juror. Let’s call her Sue. Sue comes forward and goes into the witness box. Sue swears/affirms to truthfully answer the question she’s about to be asked. The question has been agreed upon by the judge, the Crown, and the two defence lawyers (each accused had his own lawyer).

4. The lawyers take turns posing the question, which in our trial, was about whether the potential juror will be impartial given the race of one of the accused. So, whoever’s turn it is reads the question, and Sue answers it.

5. The two triers confer and say, “Acceptable,” or, “Unacceptable.” If unacceptable, Sue is excused.

Everything up to this point is optional, because there doesn’t have to be a question. If the lawyers don’t want to pose a question to screen prospective jurors, there are no triers. When your name is called, you’ll go straight to step 6.

6. If acceptable, Sue is then asked to step out of the witness box and move closer to where the accused and their lawyers are standing. The registrar says something like, “Juror, look upon the accused. Accused, look upon the juror. What say you?”

7. Starting with the Crown, each lawyer says, “Content,” or “Challenge.” If content, then the lawyer would accept Sue as a member of the jury. If challenge, the lawyer does not want Sue on the jury and she’s excused. Each lawyer gets a specific number of challenges, as spelled out in Canada’s criminal code.

8. If all the lawyers are content, Sue is told to face the registrar, and she’s now sworn/affirmed as a jury member. She becomes Juror #1. She replaces Joe, the first temporary trier, in the jury box. Joe is now excused. Sally and Sue are now the triers. Sue now swears/affirms that she’ll exercise her responsibilities as a trier to the best of her ability etc.

9. Rinse and repeat. The second juror chosen will be Juror #2 and replace Sally as a trier. The third juror chosen will become Juror #3 and replace Juror #1 as a trier. Juror #1 will now move to her proper place in the jury box. Juror #4 will replace Juror #2 as a trier, and Juror #2 will move to his proper place in the jury box. We continue this dance until we have 12 jurors.

Therefore, how long it takes to choose a jury will depend on how many “unacceptables” and “challenges” there are. In our case, there were a lot of challenges. As the afternoon progressed, the groans grew louder with each challenge.

By 4:20, they’d selected six jurors. Court usually adjourns at 4:30. I was slumped in the back row, ready to go home, and thinking, “Great, we’ll all have to haul our asses back here tomorrow, but they should finish selecting the jury by 11:00, and then I’ll be done. Yay!”

At that point, the registrar reached into the drum and pulled out a slip of paper. Guess whose number she called?

I couldn’t believe it. In fact, when you hear your number called, it’s a good job they also call your name, because your brain goes into OMFG mode. Freaking inside, you somehow manage to walk to the front of the courtroom, get into the witness box, swear/affirm that you’ll answer the question honestly, and then do so. But you’re on automatic.

Now, right before I was called, the lawyers had challenged a whole bunch of people in a row. I figured my chances of being challenged were pretty darn good. So when the registrar told me to face the accused etc., I fully expected to hear “challenge.” Instead, I heard, “Content. Content. Content.” And I thought, “Are you freaking kidding me?”

In a daze, I turned to face the registrar, swore/affirmed to execute my responsibilities as a juror to the best of my ability etc., and as Juror #7, took my place next to Juror #6 as the newest trier. Then the judge said, “It’s 4:25. Let’s adjourn for the day.” And I thought, “OMG, if only he’d done that five minutes ago.”

On the way home, still dazed, I thought about who they’d challenged and who they hadn’t. I concluded that they wanted a young to middle-aged jury (they challenged everyone who was retired or had gray hair), with no Asians on it. I deduced (correctly, as it turned out) that the victims of the crime must be Asian.

I think I was the oldest person on the jury. Maybe my hoodie, jeans, sneakers, my thick head of hair that has only a sprinkling of gray, and the knapsack slung over my shoulder made me appear younger than I am. Who knows?

The next morning, we resumed where we’d left off, except this time I entered the courtroom through the jury door with the other six jurors. We started at 10:00, and it took until almost 11:30 to choose the other five jurors. One lawyer ran out of challenges. Based on what I’d concluded, I could predict pretty reliably who they’d challenge, but a couple of challenges did puzzle me.

When we were done, the judge dismissed those who hadn’t been selected. The registrar then called out each juror number in turn, to confirm that everyone on the jury had been sworn/affirmed. When she called your number, you had to say, “Sworn,” if you’d chosen to swear, and “Affirmed,” if you’d chosen to affirm. She then read the number who’d been sworn (7) and affirmed (5) into the record—a balanced jury from that point of view.

After that: bam! The judge started to give his opening statement. Poor Juror #12 hardly had time to catch her breath. After lunch, she told me she was still in a daze. I said, “That’s how I felt last night.” At least Jurors #1-7 had an evening to get used to the idea.

Remember I said things weren’t computerized? Well, when the judge excused people before jury selection started, their slip of paper remained in the drum. It wasn’t unusual for the registrar to call a number, get no response, and then wait for the lawyers and judge to shuffle through their papers and check whether that person had been excused, which prolonged the process. If everything was electronic and the summons had a barcode, a computer could randomly pick people, rather than the registrar, and when someone was excused, their summons could be scanned and they’d be removed from the pool. Will it ever happen?

In my next post, I’ll tell you in general terms a bit about the trial and how it differed from what I’ve seen on TV. (Read about it here.)

Jury Duty in Toronto – Part 3

Today is the third and final part in my series about doing jury duty in Toronto. You can read the first two parts here: Part 1, Part 2.

In this post, I’ll tell you a bit about the trial and what happens when you’re on a jury. I won’t go into the specifics of the trial I participated in, except to say that it was a criminal trial regarding an armed robbery, the witnesses included a DNA expert, which was interesting, and we returned guilty verdicts on all counts. I can’t say anything at all about the jury deliberations, because it would be a criminal offense to do so. Our system differs significantly from the US system in that (and other) areas.

Each jury is assigned a jury constable and a room near the courtroom where the trial is taking place. You spend a lot of time in the jury room waiting to be called into court. When court isn’t in session, you’re not sequestered. You’re free to go anywhere for lunch, and you go home every night. The only time you might have to stay overnight is when you’re deliberating. Once a jury begins deliberations, nobody goes home until the verdicts are in. When you’re in the jury room, you’re locked in. You can knock on the door to call the jury constable.

Court convenes at 10 a.m. and adjourns at around 4:30 p.m. When you arrive at the courthouse, you go to a designated meeting spot in a public area. The court constable has to escort you to the jury room. In fact, he or she has to be with you whenever you’re not in a public area of the courthouse, and you always move as a group. This is to avoid the jury running into the accused. You get a morning and afternoon break, which you have to spend in the jury room. Refreshments are provided. If you have smokers on your jury, the jury constable will take them out for a quick fix (the only time the jury splits up while on break).

You have to avoid contact with everyone associated with the trial, except for your jury constable. You’re not allowed to use the elevators in the courthouse, because you could end up trapped in a confined space with a witness or a family member of the accused. You’re also encouraged to leave the courthouse for lunch. There’s a cafeteria in the basement, but since the lawyers, family members, witnesses, etc. often use it, you’re told not to go there.

Now to the trial itself, which differed quite a lot from what I’ve seen on TV and in movies (not surprising, since Canada’s system differs from the US system). It’s possible that depending on the judge, the type of case (civil vs. criminal), and the lawyers involved, things might go differently in other trials. I can only comment on my experience. In point form:

–  the jury comes into court last, and everyone (including the judge and the accused) stands until the jury is seated. That’s different than what I’ve seen on TV, where the judge is the last to enter. The lawyers’ and judge’s robes and the steps the court registrar (Madame Registrar, in our case) had to follow sometimes gave the proceedings a theatrical air.

– when the jury is called into court, the jury constable knocks on the jury room door. You line up according to your jury number. When we entered the courtroom through the jury door, jury members 1-6 filed into the front row of the jury box, and 7-12 climbed a step and filed into the back row. Each juror always sits in the same seat. I was Juror #7, so I sat in the back row directly behind Juror #1. I was the farthest away from the witness box and the judge. I was close to the Crown and the spectators. In the courtroom I was in, the accused sat directly across from the jury.

– You’re provided with paper and pencils to take notes. When you leave the courtroom, you leave your notes on your chair. You only take them with you when you leave to start deliberating. When you’ve finished deliberating, you leave your notes in the jury room. They are destroyed.

– I didn’t see a gavel. The judge never used one.

– the judge was more active than I’d expected. He’d often take the time to address the jury regarding what we’d just heard and seen, he’d ask the lawyers questions, and he’d ask the witnesses questions.

– there was much less drama than what you see on TV (no surprise there). There’s no grandstanding, no dodgy questions meant to plant ideas in the jury’s heads and that are then quickly withdrawn. No grandiose speeches or demonstrations. In fact, the Crown (prosecution) and the defence lawyers are respectful to each other and ask intelligent questions. I didn’t hear the words objection, sustained, or overruled once.

– if there’s any contention at all between the lawyers, or any other issue, the jury is removed from the court. On some days we were in and out several times. It wasn’t like on TV, where the lawyers approach the bench and discuss a point of contention while the jury is sitting there. The moment there was an issue, out went the jury.

So how was the jury experience? Interesting, humbling, and bizarre. For almost two weeks, I spent every weekday in the company of the same eleven people and away from my usual life. We underwent an intense experience together that led to a joint decision that affected the lives’ of others in a significant way. Then we waved good-bye to each other and will likely never cross paths again. I don’t know how the others felt, but the day after we were done, I thought, “WTF just happened?” Then I got back into my regular routine, and my days at the courthouse have faded away.

That’s it for my jury duty experience. I hope it has given you a taste of what you’re in for during the jury selection process (or the waiting process), and if you end up on a jury, a glimpse at what the trial might be like.