Blog Your Blessings: Jury Duty

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I wasn't feeling very enthusiastic about showing up for jury selection with 70 others on Thursday, but the day in the courthouse left me with plenty of time to rethink my attitude. I left with tremendous respect for the people who make the judicial system work. Watching the process unfold, I saw the trouble and expense to which the federal government goes to uphold the integrity of our Constitution, the Sixth Amendment of which provides for trial by a jury of one's peers to prevent the court's abusing its power.

We represented less than half of the 180 individuals who received a summons to show up on this date. We left behind home, family, and perhaps a day's wages to respond so the court could choose from among us 14 persons who together would decide the fate of a New London man accused of possessing cocaine and firearms with the intent to sell both.


As the hours rolled by, I took in the grandeur of the Kennedy-era courtroom, the vast and gold leaf panel on the wall behind the judge, the respectful silence of each of us. The government would pay each of us $40 for the day plus round trip mileage. The jurors themselves will receive this compensation for each day of the trial. The judge spoke with each one of us individually to determine our suitability for a seat on the jury.

"All this for you?" I thought as the accused turned around in his chair to look us over from time to time, doodled, and drank when he was thirsty.

And if he is guilty? Does he deserve this much time and money?

Yes. Because the process is about the integrity of the process itself and the integrity of the Constitution. That's worth a trip to Hartford. Both are priceless.

If he is guilty, may the full force and weight of justice weigh heavily on this young man.

That justice will be served and so many cooperate in seeing it served is a blessing.

Blog Your Blessings

Comments

  1. Anonymous7:28 AM

    Good for you, Sandy! I served jury duty in Bridgepport. Sorry, but we regarded your court as a country club. WE were gonna put away the real perps!

    Actually, it was a civil case, a tort, a simple suit; and when the two saw us march in, they settled. Judge said that happens a lot.

    I wanted to help build a gallows. What a let down!

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  2. Anonymous8:02 AM

    Thanks for your visit to my SkyWatch Friday post, Sandy.

    I'm on the road and in the field doing another photo trip chasing the bloom of our Rosebay Rhododendron (white blossoms) in the northern area of the Southern Appalachian mountains, and with lodging that does not have the most reliable internet service. I won't be home again for a few more days yet, but I did finally develop and upload a few images to update my July 7 Rhododendron post.

    Sunrise this morning was a washout, literally, with locally heavy thunderstorms--looks like the rain won't ease up until later morning so I'm going to breakfast soon. But I wanted to try and get around to all who visited my SWF, and others too while I still have good internet access. So, please forgive this cut & paste with a small bit of personalization added--I do appreciate your visit and your comments.

    I'm glad you made the most of your civic responsibility in responding your your duty summons and going through the process. It is not a pleasant experience, but a necessary one.

    BTW, I think you SWF photo is great!

    Jim

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  3. Anonymous8:05 AM

    Jury duty can really make one think about it all.

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  4. When we had to give a witness statement some years ago we were waiting about in the lobby. The attitudes of some left me speechless. Total lack of respect for the law. The other group in this world are those that DO have respect for the law and justice...what a massive difference between the two.

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  5. hi, sandy! i like your new profile pic! :)

    and, wow, your courts in america seem nice, like it really involves people in the community.

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  6. what a thought provoking read - I too have been called to jury duty this next week; chuckling at greg's comments!

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  7. You make us think about things Sandy. And this is good, because then we see our blessings. And we have many. Thank you. And bless you.

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  8. PS. Love our new profile photo. You are a handsome lady!

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  9. If I get jury duty, I want to do it in CT where you get paid so much!!!!!!!!! Here, we get 10 dollars a day and mileage which is nothing if you ride the bus. I presume that you didn't get chosen to be a juror. . .

    Yes, our jury system is a blessing!

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  10. Anonymous12:47 AM

    Bravo, Sandy! I wish more jurors had your attitude.

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  11. I have yet to be called in for jury duty... but will do so happily as I do feel it is a responsibility that one must take seriously. English common law is a good thing and true and I am happy our societies (for the most part) adhere to it's doctrines!

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  12. I had to miss jury duty once because of a medical issue, but would do it if called again. Thanks so much for stopping by Sandy, and hope you are having a wonderful Sunday :)

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  13. Very insightful Sandy. Glad you chose to go. If I had to be tried, I would like for the juror to possess some of the skills you possess. Unfortunately, many don't. Pappy

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  14. Anonymous5:23 PM

    I am glad you served. So many people feel that jury duty is "beneath" them. It is our duty to serve when we are called. I feel our system is bloated and unwieldy at times, but who is to decide what stays and what goes? Have a great week.

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  15. If our system of justice used professional jurors, then we would be tried by people who are much more conversant with the law, previous cases, etc. It would also be much simpler than trying to recruit ye average citizen.

    What then is the reason for using a jury of your peers?

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  16. Anonymous8:09 PM

    A fair trial is a blessing, especially if the person is not really guilty. Sometimes, those tasks that we reluctantly do are the ones which make us think afterwards.

    Have a great week, Sandy! :)

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  17. Anonymous8:21 PM

    I have never served on a jury, only been called once. DH has served even on the Federal Jury and most recently had to serve a year on our local grand jury--no mileage and only $20. per session, 2 X month. He lost about 2500 dollars to perform his civic duty. He is a good juryman because he can remember detail really well.

    I too agree that everyone should have a fair trial.

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  18. When I was reading your post about Jury Duty, it reminds me movies from novels of John Grisham for the Jury selection, or 12 angry men about the sequence of the trial.
    You have the civic aspect and I think it should be a great experience in one's life. Have you been chosen?

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  19. I had my first Jury Duty late last year. It was a real eye opener. Fortunately, I was not chosen as a juror. Don't know why, don't know that I really care. I really didn't want to help decide the case.

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  20. I feel much the same way you do about Jury Duty … lack of enthusiasm when I receive the summons, but an appreciation for the process while I’m there and when I leave. We are indeed blessed … and service of this type does remind us. Thanks for sharing ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

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  21. Anonymous2:39 PM

    I thought when you first wrote this it was an excellent piece. Reading it again, it really is special. I don't know how many people take away what you did from your Jury Duty experience. This is just another testimony of who you are.

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