Well I'm back home. The trial was quite the experience. I don't want to be too melodramatic about it, but it was certainly one of the more emotionally intense/difficult experiences that I've ever been through. I could write pages about it all, but I'll try and keep it short. It came as quite a shock to be picked. After we were picked we had about one hour to gather everything and be at the bus. After that point we were monitored constantly when we were outside of our hotel rooms. We could not have any contact with any media source just in case our trial came on the news (which apparently it did quite often). While we were outside our hotel room we were under constant supervision by our bailiffs and our contact with the public was kept to a minimum. We were not even allowed to talk to other jurors outside the watchful eyes of our bailiffs.
So that's one piece of why it was so difficult. The other obviously being the trial itself. Sitting in the jury box was quite intimidating. Everyone spends quite a bit of time staring at the jury as witnesses speak, trying to catch any reaction that they might be having. The case itself was fairly gruesome. The man was convicted of murder, but there was obvious intent to rape the victim as well. Her pants and underwear were both torn. Her face was then crushed with a large piece of concrete. Her skull was broken in several places and her face was unrecognizable afterwards. I'll stop there with the details. Hearing all these gruesome details and then being unable to talk about them to anybody was quite difficult.
I certainly don't mean to paint to horrible of a picture. It was somewhat traumatic, but the county treated us very well. The bailiffs were very kind and did the best they could to lighten the mood outside the courtroom. The hotel was nice, and the food was excellent. All the other jurors were very kind and supportive, everyone certainly looked out for each other the best they could given the circumstances. I've also learned quite a bit about our criminal justice system.
It took me most of a week to get adjusted to being a juror. Now that I'm back you would think everything would be great. However it feels like it might take me a while to get readjusted to the real world.