Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I was baffled by #3, though.

3. I like jury duty.

It's true. Generally the words "jury duty" are accompanied by groans, but I like jury duty.

Not the sit in an over-crowded jurors' room while soap operas play on TVs which you can neither see nor hear very well anyway part of jury duty. The part where you actually get inside a court room. Even just the jury selection process can be interesting.

First and most importantly, I am grateful for our jury system which needs citizen jurors to work. For the most part, my admittedly limited experience serving on juries has increased my respect for the judicial system. Like most of our government, it is not perfect, but it just might be the best thing going on earth. And it needs us - regular, decent, honest citizens. I think that if I had to be before a jury, I would want people like me to be on it. Not necessarily people who think the way I do (although I am sure I would mostly be fine with that!), but honest people who want to be just. I have served on 3 jury trials (and was a juror on one that didnt' go all the way to trial) and mostly I felt the jurors were trying to do right.

I also think the judicial system is interesting. People, the law, the predicaments people get into are all interesting. Some cases are amusing, some are educational. It is true, some are distressing and disturbing. I think perhaps those are the ones that especially need good citizens to serve. I am fortunate not to have much experience with really serious and disturbing trials. Well, my last case was somewhat. I was quite disappointed in that jury as well. But, because both sides stood our ground and refused to back down from what we thought was right, we had a hung jury. Which is really good news. (As opposed to the other side prevailing, anyway.) The attorneys learned a bit from us, as well as we from them, in our informal after trial meeting. The case was going to be tried again - hopefully with some important corrections. Perhaps justice was served.

Not very importantly, jury duty offers a change of pace. Somewhat importantly, gives me a glimpse into other lives, often leaving me grateful for my own dull, peaceful, blessed existence.

Is it surprising that I like jury duty? Many people seem to find legal cases interesting - police and law shows as well as those "Judge So-and-So" shows are ever popular.


  1. The two times I've done jury duty, they didn't have soap operas, they had movies. Good ones both times, and the first time I actually got to watch the whole thing (the 2nd movie I had seen before).
    I agree about it being interesting, except I don't think the selection process is interesting - a bunch of people answering basically the same questions over and over was kind of boring to me.

  2. regarding the tv shows:
    Don't forget that they only last 1/2 hour to an hour and wrap up the whole story in that time.