Jury Duty: The Maintenance of Liberty

Last week, I was called for jury duty. I went, I waited, I saw the movie, I waited, I listened to the Judge’s presentation, I waited, I answered the questions…mistrial. (The defense witnesses were in the hall and had spoke with some members of the jury panel.)

I spoke with a number of individuals during the wait time.

Thanks to all employers who give their employees time off with full pay for jury duty. These individuals seemed less bothered by their civic duty.

Thanks to all individuals who showed up to fulfill their civic duty.

This includes the man who was there at 8 a.m. after working the 11-7 shift.

It includes the mother who had her older daughter watching her younger son for the first time. (Yes, she was on her cell phone as often as possible.)

I didn’t speak with anyone who didn’t have other things to do. Yet they cared enough to show up.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill: The jury system has come to stand for all we mean by justice. The scrutiny of 12 honest jurors provides defendants and plaintiffs alike a safeguard from the arbitrary perversion of the law.

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