The Call of (Jury) Duty

It’s over. Thank God.

I’ve never done jury duty before this week. I’d been summoned back when I was in college, but because I attended college out-of-state, it was an easy thing to get out of, because I wasn’t even going to be in town. But when I got my summons last year for this year, I swore a blue streak. On principle, I didn’t mind the idea of serving on a jury. I minded the interruption to my daily routine and the hassle it was going to take to make sure that my job didn’t suffer in my absence.

I’m not going to talk about specifics of my case, but I am going to talk about the process and the TYPE of case it was, as well as the verdict. I will say this, though: if you ever have the opportunity to serve on a jury and it doesn’t pose a financial hardship to you, do it. Seriously. Yeah, it’s an interruption and it’s stressful depending on the type of case you have to hear, but it’s utterly fascinating and educational. I’m not a patriot or anything, and I’ll be the first to tell you, when it comes to civic duty, I’m pretty ambivalent. But having an inside view of how the justice system works, to be a part of it, is really, really important. It gives you a new perspective on your community and law enforcement. It can reinforce already held views, but really, it made me feel a part of a the community in a way I never imagined. So while I’ll still grumble about speed traps and photo surveillance of traffic, I have a new appreciation for what the police force has to do when a crime’s committed and what the legal system goes through to follow up.

Yeah, I was on a murder trial.

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