Verdict on jury-duty process: patriotism, patience are needed


July 03, 1996|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I'M MORE than just an odd last name to my mailman. He knows me by the pounds of local news he delivers daily to my address.

But last month he brought me a surprise: a summons from Anne Arundel County Circuit Court for jury duty.

The timing was right: no looming editorial deadlines, all quiet on the family front, and the approaching Fourth of July stirring feelings of patriotism.

Patriotism is helpful during the long process of jury selection, but if you have to choose one quality, it is patience. There's a lot of sitting and waiting.

I got as far as a courtroom three times but was rejected during the random selection of jurists. On the third try, I took my seat as juror No. 7 for a drunken driving case in the courtroom of Judge Martin Wolff.

Eleven strangers and I swore to objectively decide the guilt or innocence of another stranger. The outcome pivoted upon the word of a Maryland State Trooper against the word of the defendant.

After much discussion among the eight men and four women, we decided in favor of the state.

The burden of proof may be on the prosecution, but an equal burden is in deciding another man's fate.

Carnival time

It wouldn't be summer in Central County without the annual carnival at Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Co. on Ritchie Highway.

The carnival begins Mondayand ends July 13. The hours are 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

On Monday through Thursday, you can ride all night for $10.

Information: 647-3119.

Programs for kids

Kids are the name, and Kindermusik is the game this month at the YWCA in Arnold.

Several classes of three or four sessions are planned -- Kindermusik Beginnings for children ages 18 months to 3 years; Growing with Kindermusik for 3-year-olds; and A to G Music Series for 4- and 5- year-olds, to develop music appreciation.

Christine Allen is the instructor, and all classes are limited in size. Call 410-626-7800.

If music is not your child's thing, the YWCA offers Ooey Gooey Science for 2 1/2 - to 4-year-olds on Saturday mornings, beginning July 13.

For the same age group, how about art classes? They begin Aug. 19.

For 3- to 5-year-olds, there is Crafty Critters, or computer fun with Let's Be Creative and Computer Science Camp. Older kids ages 6 to 8 can sign up for more sophisticated computer fun.

For parents, the YWCA is offering a "Moms and Tots Support Group" on eight Mondays beginning July 8. Topics and speakers are chosen by participants.

An eight-week Parent Effectiveness Training class begins July 10.

And for 9- to 12-year-olds, a Mother's Helper class will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. July 14.

Shiatsu, a Japanese massage that promotes relaxation and stress reduction, is offered by appointment at the YWCA each rTC Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. by certified instructor Debra Doricchi.

All of these programs are offered at YWCA headquarters on Ritchie Highway.

For more information, call (410) 626-7800.

Pub Date: 7/03/96

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