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What To Expect From Jury Duty – Brian’s Blog

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Brian Gary, TSM

I have said many times that if you don’t vote you have no right to complain about the outcome of an election. I also feel that you have no right to complain about the criminal justice system if you don’t get involved. There are too many people who will get a jury summons and blow it off yet complain about some verdicts that juries have come up with. If you are concerned about how a jury can come up with a verdict, you need to take the time to serve on one. I am just like you and groaned when I got my summons in the mail and debated trying to get out of it, then I remembered how angry I was with the OJ and Casey Anthony verdicts and thought that I owed it to my community to serve and lend an intelligent voice to the jury.

I arrived at the courthouse at 7:45 for my 8:00 start time. I removed my shoes and went through the metal detector just as if I was boarding a plane and as usual I still beeped. After an extensive cavity search I continued on and found my way to the waiting area. The large group of us sat there as silent as a row of men at a public urinal. A nice lady then came in and played a video for us thanking us for our time and letting us know what to expect from the process. It was very well done and I was prepared to do my duty to see that justice was dealt out when it came time to hit the courtroom.

After a few minutes of waiting, the nice lady came back in and called a few of us out of the room by name. I noticed that it seemed she was only pulling the long haired dudes out of the room. I asked if she was trying to get rid of all the long hairs and she jokingly replied that “yes she was”.

A group of about a dozen of us were put in another room where we sat and quietly waited. Finally I said that it was quieter than an elevator in there and it was driving me we all started to talk. We were asking each other if we had ever served on a jury before. I said I had never been on one but in front of plenty, which got the room laughing a bit, they thought I was kidding.

After a few minutes of chatting, the nice lady returned to tell us that we were the lucky group who were being dismissed for the day. I was glad to be done but was more than ready to serve my time on the jury. We can all sacrifice some time from our busy lives to do our part in the justice system. It works if we all do our part. If you are a member of the community you owe it to your fellow citizens to do serve when called. We are what makes the system work.

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