26th and California is where main felonies in Chicago, such as murder, armed robbery, weapons charges and some assault and battery cases, are tried. Preliminary hearings may be held elsewhere in Cook County but the trial will likely be at this courthouse.

Diary of a potential Juror.  Notice for jury service on Oct. 11th, oh cr__, it's 26th and Cal.  Can't be late, leave a little early, but takes 1 1/2 hours to get to the administration building at 2650 S. California.  Nice neighborhood.  Waiting in a long line to be screened for weapons.  Gee,  most of the people waiting in line with me don't live in my neighborhood or town (thank goodness).  Put my briefcase on the scanner belt, quarters and metallic stuff in the basket and step through the people scanner.  Oops, it's those darn suspenders.  "Step over here sir and turn around".  I love the hand search, perhaps the best part of the day?  Take the elevator to the 3rd floor, directed to the jury waiting room and present my summons to the clerk.  Immediately ask how to present extenuating circumstances for release from jury service.  Told to present my concerns to the judge.  By now I am 20 minutes late, but many potential jurors are still streaming in.  Time here is irrelevant.  Take a comfy seat and wait for the video program explaining what our juror service means to our legal system.  Almost makes me want to stand and salute.  The head clerk is very cordial and clear with his instructions, so clear a 3rd grader would understand.  Takes about 1 hour, and my panel number is called, line up and wait, elevator to lobby and wait, elevator to foyer of courtroom 604 and wait about 30 minutes.   50 of us stream into the court room and 38 are called by name and seated in the 'jurors box'.  Case details are presented by the judge and general questions asked to the 38, you know, "have you ever been in prison" etc, etc.  Then detailed questions are asked to each of the 38, wife, job, kids, property, hobbies etc.  We break for lunch mid way through the questioning for lunch, about 1 1/4 hours late.  Return after lunch and wait in the foyer for another 25 minutes.  Questioning potential jurors continues and recess is called so they can pick their 12 jurors.  I'm feeling good.  Well, they couldn't find 12 jurors from the first bunch, so they call 6 more from the gallery including yours truly.  Cr__!  Same questions to the 6 including are there any circumstances that would prevent you from serving?  Now's my chance, but the other 5 raise their hands also.  Cr__.  Break for recess so they may consider our worthiness.  By now, everyone is antsy cause it's after 4:30pm.  The judge also wants the case to start after the jurors are chosen today.  You know, present evidence.  Well my argument for extenuating circumstances must have worked.  The deputy was waiting outside the door with my $17.20 check.  Nice happy drive home.  Now that I have reflected on my adventure, when I retire, I hope I am called to serve and will request 26th and Cal.  Criminal court is where it's at.  Guilty?