Today seems like a calmer day, which gives me the opportunity to tell you more about the American justice system. What you'll find first: It's pretty boring.
Today, my service included signing in at 9 a.m. and then signing out a badge to access the quieter jury room upstairs. I walked up there a couple times. Also, I bought a soda. This is all routine, and many jurors never get seated on a case. The jury process can work with too many summoned; it can't work with too few.
The quiet room has a room full of tables and very difficult puzzles. When I looked in there earlier today, about half of them had been finished.
We're trained to view legal proceedings from the eyes of Jack McCoy, who's never without a high-profile case and something flashy to say to an unruly witness. Law never takes more than an hour. Well, if a mob boss assassinates a public official, law takes two one-hour segments. But never more than that.
In reality, the implications of a legal system striving to be fair and impartial are that everything moves at a snail's pace and involves an incredible amount of paperwork. The right to a trial by jury -- something many nations don't enjoy -- means convenience, speed and efficiency are sacrificed to do a good job slowly and cautiously.