I must be a weirdo.
I’m now 68 years of age and I have a item on my bucket list that I likely won’t ever fulfill.
I want to serve on a trial jury. I want to get the chance to determine whether someone is guilty or innocent of a crime. I even would settle for a civil case that would allow me to rule in favor of a plaintiff or a defendant.
It won’t happen. Not likely ever.
Over many years of living I’ve heard too many friends and acquaintances gripe about serving on a jury. They don’t have the time. They don’t want to be bothered. Public service? Let someone else do it!
Why, I never …
I posted a blog item in February 2009 that called attention to a local sheriff reporting for jury duty. Randall County’s top cop, Joel Richardson, performed his act of public service.
I was proud of Sheriff Richardson.
Alas, I won’t be able to do what he did … more than likely.
In Randall County, where I’ve lived for more than two decades, I receive jury summonses about two, maybe three times a year. The county’s automated system allows summons recipients to call the prior evening to see if we have to report. Almost without fail, I call and the recording excuses “all jurors” until the next time we get called.
Then there’s this grand jury matter. I served on a Randall County grand jury some years ago. We met for three months, handing out indictments and no-billing people listed in criminal complaints brought by the district attorney’s office. The DA, James Farren, told us we could kiss any future jury duty goodbye, given our grand jury experience. Why? Defense counsel would strike us as being biased in favor of the prosecution.
I know this sounds strange. I do wish I could get a jury summons, answer it, report for duty and then get selected to hear a case. Hey, the pay is lousy.
Then again, public service isn’t about personal enrichment … correct?