Ever since I was a little one, I always thought it would be cool to serve on a jury.
To be one of those people that had to listen to a trial so intently … learn the facts, get each side of the story and do my civic duty as a citizen of the United States of America. After the trial, head into the room and discuss a person’s fate, whether good or bad.
It is, after all, part of our legal system. A jury of one’s peers and all.
But, I knew at a young age it would be hard for me to become a juror. My father was a cop and, as I grew older, I worked in the media. Those are two things that seemed to get people axed off the prospective juror setup pretty quickly.
So, recently, I received a questionnaire to be a prospective juror in the ol’ system. Again, I didn’t think much of it as I’ve done this before and got wiped.
Then I received what you see at the top of the page.
See, this is all good during normal life. You have an income. A job will normally allow you this civic responsibility. But I’m coming to the end of having unemployment insurance and my days are spent applying for whatever jobs I can find in the hopes of getting something by the time it ends. And spending eight hours or more at a courthouse would be extremely tough.
I have a lot on my mind as it is — imagine adding the responsibility of having to decide the fate of another human being?
Still, I came to the realization that I would have to do what I needed to do. If that meant jury duty during the day and job applications at night, so be it.
I didn’t file for a deferment because, honestly, it would have been silly. I figured let the chips fall where they may and I’ll deal with it accordingly.
Then came Monday. I had to call in to the system to see what the deal was. I waited a little bit, but when I called, I still got a busy signal twice! When I finally got through, I heard the magical phrase — I didn’t have to show up because the trial had been settled.
Look, I still — one day — want to serve on a jury. I think we, as Americans, should want to actively participate in the legal system. But I also know there are good times and bad times. This one was bad. And I’m thankful I could keep my focus in the one spot it truly needed to be on.
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