Serving on a jury is a responsibility often regarded by some as cumbersome and wholly inconvenient. As an attorney, while I understand that jury duty interferes with a person’s regular routine and work schedule, as a person who own’s the right to have a jury of my peers, I realize it is a right that people don’t know they need until they find themselves in a position that they actually need a jury of their peers. When you are called on to serve and it is not your case, its the other guy’s case, the tendency is to be indifferent and perhaps uninterested. Think back to your government class in the 8th grade. The purpose of the educational system was to take that opportunity to expose the young student to future adult responsibility as a citizen-voter-tax payer-contributing member of society. It was not misspent training time by your teacher. It was instruction by design. Those were your formative years.
Of course as a young student the pressure of work and adult responsibility was not there. The real pressure was having to wait for adulthood and the so-called freedoms that adulthood brought. Now as adult we can look back to the 8th grade and appreciate how the history of this country developed only through the hard earned lessons associated with very courageous people who put their careers and safety on the line in order to secure those rights–to which we are all entitled. One of those rights is being able to serve your fellow citizen on a jury. The utility of that struggle does not stop, it continues today. The right to vote, the right to remain silent, the right to bear arms, the right to a trial by a jury of your peers are rights as relevant today as they ever were in our American history.
If you are called on to serve as a jury accept the responsibility with a since of history. After all, lest we sleep, the foundry of America is still open and operational and is needed more today then we may realize.