Aug 11, 2010

Civic Duty

Facebook just showed me a friend-of-a-friend's update with comments.

OP: Jury duty? Really?! BARF.

OP: So... people that actually "work" for a living- what do they do? Shouldn't "They" recruit people that are unemployed or something?! F***.

1) If you collect a government check, I think it should be your duty.

2) Well, women wanted to vote. This is what you get.

3) I have it too in the first week of sept....boooo!

4) That sucks! =( Upside is maybe it will be an interesting case! My mom was juror on a murder trial! (it was years ago but she said it was interesting)

5) @?? That sounds way harsh, but if you don't register to vote, you don't get pooled into jury duty.

6) Hey it's your civic duty, plus you get paid ( a whole $10 goes along way). just tell them your racist against everyone, you'll do fine

7) Give 'em the needle, OP!

8) You know people who work in law and in law enforcement! You'll have to show up, but there's no way you'll serve!

9) I got out of it when I had it, had to say a certain someone was sick and I had to get back to them and they permanently excused me from it, no way was I going to sit through that crap
I am ... honestly, I am disgusted.

The Sixth Amendment, folks. It's been around for 220 years.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Seems pretty cut-and-dry to me.

You work for a living? Congrats, so do the rest of us. Jury duty is part and parcel of being a citizen of the United States, and about the only chance you will ever have to directly influence legal proceedings. (Ever hear of "jury nullification"?) It's not only a responsibility, it's a privilege. Yes, it will inconvenience you to a certain extent - but most employers have some kind of provision for that and will make what accomodations they can. SOME will even pay you a full day's work while serving on a jury.

"Getting out of it"? Come on. The judges and attorneys are onto the tricks, folks. Tell them you're racist and hate everyone, and you're cruising for a contempt-of-court. Knowing (or even BEING) an officer is not an out. *I* don't get a pass even though I work with the officers on a regular basis.

Suck it up, go to the jury selection, and if you're selected, then it's your turn. So be it. That's part of the cost of all the other freedoms we enjoy. Be impartial, listen carefully, and be honest. Don't fall asleep in court. Do your duty and be proud that you live in a country that is free.


Bob S. said...

I had jury duty yesterday. I went and spent my time waiting -- but not a complaint from me about it.

I've never understood the attitude shown in those comments

SCI-FI said...


If we want to stop stupid jury verdicts, we have to stop letting juries get packed with stupid people. People of honest intent and good character need to look forward to jury duty, not shirk from it.

bluesun said...

I've heard it said that "the people on the jury are the ones who are too stupid to get out of jury duty." That makes me really worried. If (heaven forbid!) I am ever arrested for something, especially wrongfully, I want the smartest, most interested people possible on the jury.