Jury duty

Take responsibility to help make our justice system work

Jury duty is hardly ever convenient. Nearly every juror has something he or she would rather be doing. The notice comes, a potential juror rearranges other obligations, and often, the trial is cancelled at the last minute.

Those who bother neither to show up nor to reschedule should remember that they may someday have a stake in the outcome of a trial. They may be victims of a property crime or a crime of violence, or they may care about someone who is. They may know the defendant. They may be defendants.

Then theyíll begin to comprehend the importance of the jury.

It makes sense that the best jurors would be busy people, active in their communities, concerned about what happens there.

It also makes sense that the best jurors would be people who understand the importance of the jury in providing a fair trial. Jury duty is a small price to pay to ensure that people accused of crimes face a jury of their peers and not just an assortment of those who didnít have anything better to do.

That service is a contribution to making sure that the justice system functions well, which in turn helps the rest of the community to function well. Jury duty is not just an inconvenience; itís a responsibility that should be taken very seriously.

Thanks to those who do report. Those who donít should not complain about the crime rate or the unfairness of the justice system, because they didnít show up to make a difference.