November 16, 2018
One of the most precious rights we enjoy in our country is the right to a trial by jury. In many places in the world, if you have been accused of a crime or injured by the negligence of another person, your only recourse is to appear before a judge. Imagine if your entire fate or future was to be determined by one individual, not elected by the citizens, but appointed by the government. Our founding fathers came to this country escaping political and religious persecution, and saw with their own eyes the incredible injustice perpetrated upon themselves and their fellow citizens. They knew that fairness was with a jury “of their peers”, and not with a bureaucrat. Litigants have a right to fully participate in the jury selection process, and can work with their attorney to help pick a fair jury to hear their case. Serving on a jury is often a hardship and inconvenience for those who receive the notice in the mail, taking them away from their work and families. But if we fail to answer the call to serve, we jeopardize the very system that we ourselves will call upon in our time of need. The next time you receive that notice for jury service, remember how important your service is. And who knows, you may even be elected the foreperson!