Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting Out of Juy Duty

Every morning a group of fire fighters, or volunteer fire fighters, (I’ve never actually read their badges) gets together at the same coffee shop I do. This morning I happened to overhear part of their conversation.

“The best way to get out of it is to say that everybody’s guilty.”
“Yeah, and the gorier you get, the better.”
“I’m living proof! It worked for me.”

I HATE hearing people talk about getting out of jury duty. Especially after I served on a jury this spring. I know that I’m a dorky rule follower, but nothing gets my civic-duty-goat like people talking about how to get out of jury duty. The jury I sat on was for a man accused of seven counts of child rape and molestation. It was one of the most emotionally brutal experiences of my life. But still. Both the victim and the defendant deserved a jury of thoughtful people, people willing to listen and do their best to find the truth of the matter. Luckily, that was the jury they got, and by the end of the week I was proud to have served with those twelve other people, and honored to have spent two days deliberating with truly caring and thoughtful people.

What is so important that this man in the coffee shop should try and weasel his way out? He’s going to miss his morning coffee with his bros? Sitting at a desk all day? He’d still get home for dinner and his TV shows.


  1. my bf just had to do jury duty and although he really didn't want to, he ended up actually really liking it/everyone there fell in love with him, because he's a nerd and gets really in to things like jury duty and somehow makes friends wherever he goes. i agree with you, i think it's just one of those things we have to do, and it's not like it's something that's going to ruin our whole month or something. it probably isn't even that bad if you have the right attitude going into it (i wouldn't know, i've never been called!)

  2. I feel the same way. I'm always moved by the experience of jury duty, seeing everyone do their best to be good citizens, and no matter how traumatic it's been (and it's been very!)I would never try to get out of it without good reason.
    However... have you ever had a fire? Those people are at your house in their jammies in like ten seconds flat, pulling those giant outfits out of their modest cars' trunks and clambering into them while they rub the sleep out of their eyes. As far as I'm concerned, if anyone gets a pass, it's firefighters. They are MADE OF civic duty.