Jury Duty


So Iím in the lunchroom today making a cheese sandwich, since well Iím broke, and Iím listening to these people talking about jury duty and how to get out of it. I understand itís like the done thing, to try to get out of jury duty and all, in fact some guy created a web page telling other people the best ways to keep from having to serve.  but why do people hate jury duty so much? The fact that they do seems to be a given. Hasnít everybody heard that quote, ďDo you really want your life in the hands of 12 people who werenít smart enough to get out of jury duty?Ē or something like that. 

Maybe itís just that we hate to be put in situations where we lose control over our own lives. I mean the name says it all, jury Duty. Duty is a word that smacks of responsibility.  In every other aspect of our lives we can just take off whenever we feel like it. We can leave work early or call in sick. We are masters of rescheduling unpleasantness. After all, what could be more unpleasant than having to sit by people you donít know and try to judge the guilt or innocence of a total stranger.  So if thereís any way of putting it off, weíll find it.  

Yet maybe we shouldnít. After all, we never know what the future holds. The day may come that we might be sitting on the wrong side of a courtroom trying to defend ourselves against criminal charges. Besides, as American citizens we arenít really asked for that much are we? I mean I know we pay taxes and obey laws (most of us) but other than basic stuff like that, does our country really ask anything of us?

 Since disclosure is probably necessary, I myself have never served on a jury. Twice I was excused due to the fact that I was a temp worker, and it would cause a total loss of wages if I served. The third time I was summoned (when I was unemployed), I called in and was not needed. Truth be told I was a little disappointed. I find the law intriguing and think it would be interesting to serve on a jury. That said, I must admit Iíd rather do a civil trial than one of those scary criminal ones where someone tries to buy your vote and then when you refuse threatens to have you killed. Okay so I know that this mostly just happens on TV shows and stuff, but stillÖ

 The point Iím trying to make is that aside from voting, which a minute amount of the total population does anyway, serving on a jury is part of being an American citizen, and as much as it may seem like a pain, itís also a privilege. I know Iím probably losing you here, but hear me out. Think of the things in your life you really are committed to. Maybe your family, or your job, Itís not always all good all the time right? Sometimes itís a big huge pain in the ass, but you do the pain in the ass stuff because youíre grateful for all the good things.

 So next time you get summoned, (assuming it wonít cost you all the money you need to survive) go serve. Sure you could weasel your way out of it, most halfway intelligent people can. I mean I read somewhere that even Ashton Kutcher managed to get out of jury duty. But instead, take the high road (whatever that means) and serve your country. After all, if you were falsely accused of a crime, wouldnít you want someone like you on the jury?


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