|Reporting for Jury Duty|
This past week, I was called by the County Court system to serve on a jury. I wasn’t happy about it. I can honestly say this is the busiest I have ever been in my entire life. Immersed in projects, there is no way I can mentally be present to serve on a jury. I barely have time to spend with my children who are home from college this summer. It’s all good. I’m not complaining. I am loving life these days!
I have nothing but respect for the basic principles on which our judicial system was founded. After all, my husband is a Political Science Professor who specializes in the Supreme Court. I do, however, have reservations about the current jury system. First of all, I don’t like being told that I have “no choice” that I MUST report for jury service. That violates my principle of freedom. Making me do something against my will feels oppressive. That taxpayer dollars had to be spent to “pay me” to get out of jury duty is a horrible waste of money. There are plenty of people I know who love serving on juries and get excited receiving the summons and I know of others who just throw it in the trash. But, at least money isn’t wasted on someone like me who had to go “just to get out of it.”
I also found it terribly offensive to have to go through armed guards and metal detectors on my way into the jury pool. I didn’t volunteer to go there…remember…they asked me! Not sure when they added this little step since I haven’t been called to a jury since 20 + years ago. I had to sit in a very large room and wait for my name to be called. They had people line up in the center isle of the room and file into the questioning room one-by-one, like sheep.
The case that I was questioned to serve on happened seven years ago! Seriously, what happened to a statue of limitations! It involved a woman who had an accident and was injured, not seriously, she had quality of life and could work. The defendant admitted it was his fault and covered all of her medical expenses. The woman (plaintiff) was seeking additional monies for pain that had she suffered. It would be my job as a juror to decide if her injuries met the “law” that said she was injured enough to get additional monies. In addition, it was requested of me to determine if the doctors made her injuries seem worse than they were. And…did I mention this happened SEVEN years ago!
I sat in a room of 20 plus people and was the only one asking questions. I felt like it was the “Christine Show.” I was basically trying to decide if this case was worthy of my time and attention. Why these two attorneys couldn’t work something out is beyond me. It seemed odd. After barraging them with question, I was excused.
For some reason, there is a fundamental belief that if one doesn’t want to serve on a jury it is “un-American.” To that I say, “It is un-American not to have a choice.” Of course, I love my country. I also love the planet and the universe in which we all live. Just because I choose not to spend my time on a jury doesn’t mean that I do not carry love in my heart for my country. My freedom of choice allows me to participate in humanitarian projects where I donate most of my time. This is where I can be the most effective in the “solution” to the world’s problems.
I hope the jury system improves when I return in six years. Hopefully, all those frivolous lawsuits will vanish and people will learn how to work things out without taking up the time of others. I realize this is not feasible all of the time, but our jury system (founded upon brilliance) has turned into a horse and pony show…..
|Smiling because I'm done for another six years!|
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