Saturday, November 22, 2008

An American Privilege: Jury Duty

How is it that something touted as a 'privilege' has to have the word 'duty' in the name?* I've always wondered that.

Well, for some reason, the "jury lottery" LOVES my husband, lol. I don't know why, but in the 15 or so years that he has been old enough to serve, he's been called for jury duty more times than I can count! I don't envy him this; the one time I was called - I was able to get out of it because I was VERY pregnant and the doctor had advised me (because of my varicose veins) not to sit or stand for long periods of time - and they couldn't guarantee me the ability to stand and stretch my legs every hour or so. The judge actually rolled her eyes - but couldn't go against doctors orders either... I was content to be the object of her derision if it got me out of that big boring room full of people who also didn't want to be there.

Just the other day, in fact, my husband went to get the mail and lo and behold, there was ANOTHER jury summons with his name one it. He got into the car, reading it with disbelief. "Again?" he said, as he turned the summons over and back again and again as if searching for something... "isn't there like an 'opt out' box I can check or something?"

I burst out laughing, imagining jury summons coming with a box at the end: "check this if you wish to be removed from our mailing list".

Wouldn't that be awesome? LOL! Of course then there would be no one (or at least, just the same few people) to serve on the juries. -- Hey! We could make jury duty a "community service"... hmmm....

*now before anyone labels me as "un-American", I just want to say that actually serving on a jury might be fun, but jury duty is about as fun as a root canal. I think we need to rework the whole jury selection process...


kden 6:41 PM  

I am 50 and have never been called. My husband was recently and his work told him he would be paid for it. It turned our that he spent 4 days in the process and was only paid for the few hours that he spent at the courthouse. So he got that and then had to use 2 vacation days to get a decent paycheck. If you DEPEND on your paycheck then employers don't always make it affordable to take time off to do jury duty. I hate to say this but I would do what I could to get out of it. I work independently and my small income is used for grocery money, so if I don't work, we don't eat.

Kat 7:24 PM  

Wow Kden! That's awful - I can't believe they didn't pay him!

I happily use my 'children under 10' as my perfectly valid excuse. I've got 5 more years of that to enjoy...

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