Things I would prefer doing over Jury Duty – anything.
So I got a Jury Summons the other day and obviously I had to write a post called Things I would prefer doing over Jury Duty…. obviously. I must report to our local court house earlier than I usually have my teeth brushed or legitimate outside clothes on on Wednesday morning – so I might just show up in my jammies – Michael Jackson style. I won’t do that of course, I will get up early, shuffle my kids to my mom who took off the day of work (she is self employed so she is losing money), dress appropriately, and try to act respectable, but seriously – WHY am I legally required to go to Jury Duty?
Someone *allegedly* breaks the law and now I gotta arrange for childcare, look presentable, act age appropriate, stop working, and stop everything so he or she gets a fair trial. I don’t get that.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been to Russia. I’ve been in a Russian courthouse and I have seen the literal cage they have for the accused to sit in. I don’t want those accused of crimes here to have their trial behind closed doors – that’s jacked up. But seriously NOBODY wants to report for Jury Duty. Not one person.
I am sure as I type this there is someone out there that is is all “Oh, you are wrong Kate, I LOOOVE Jury Duty! Jury Duty is my favorite!”
That’s great Buddy, how about you offer yourself in tribute. Serve in my place.
And then I thought to myself – that is an awesome idea. People are ‘required’ to serve as much as once a year – but if there are people who would enjoy serving more often why don’t we let them? Why isn’t there a ‘find a replacement’ option? Seriously. You pretty much just need to be a legal and law abiding resident right? I just want to know why I can’t sweet talk my Grandma into serving for me. Cuz she totally would – I mean, I might need to buy her lunch, but I would be willing to do that anyway. Which brings me to my next point.
Why can’t I pay someone to take my place for Jury Duty? I am self employed, my mom who is taking the day off to shuffle my kids around is also self employed – if the attorneys and judge make the unfortunate decision (for them and me) to put me on their Jury for more than a day it is going to be a huge pain for my mom and I and it will cost us a lot of time and money. I don’t have a ton of money, but at this stage of my life, it would have been easier just to pay a reasonable fee to the courts for them to find a suitable replacement.
Another suggestion – use that money I pay to up the amount that folks are paid to serve on a Jury. I think that might deter people who might have the flexibility to serve but just don’t want to from trying to dodge their summons.
Well Kate, it is your legal obligation as an American Citizen you say, it is your civic duty. M’Kay – but can I have another Civic Duty? Like one that is not so up in the air. Jury Duty can go on for weeks and I don’t really have that kind of flexibility. Jury Duty can also be just a couple hours – that is what I am praying for for me this week. I would GLADLY do something once a year for the betterment of our great nation all day long if I could pick the day and time. Can’t my Civic Duty be to work on the restoration of a building, organize donations for a hospice, serve at a hospice, play games with children at a group home, clean up a beach, or like ANYTHING other than Jury Duty. I do a bunch of that stuff anyway, so can’t one day just be my “Civic Duty” day. My guess is there are a bunch of people who have no interest in doing any of the things I just mentioned, they would rather sit in an air conditioned room not talking to anyone – and for those people I suggest Jury Duty. Ta Da!
When I reported to my facebook friends in my own special way that I was to report to Jury Duty this week I had several suggest how to ‘get out of it’ – I just think that speaks of a system that maybe could use some noodling to make it better. Or maybe I am crazy……. and again – who wants a crazy person deciding their guilt or innocence?
Anyway – I am sure someone might read this and feel the need to explain to me why I am totally wrong and honestly, that is OK. Feel free to nerd out on the justice system in my comment section, it won’t change the fact that I don’t want to go, but if you need to do that, please do. I just really don’t want to go… OK rant over.