A member of my family is a happy young woman. Why? She’s been called for jury duty in Oregon.
She has been summoned to appear for jury duty in a Circuit Court, which is the highest level of trial court in Oregon. She is thrilled. I want to join her in her excitement at being called to perform a vital act of citizenship.
I long have bemoaned my own lack of jury-duty experience. Of course, I am much older than my great-niece.
I was called a time or two when we lived in Oregon. I never served.
Then we moved to Texas in 1984.
I have received summons while living first in Jefferson County and then in Randall County in Texas. But only one time have I been ordered to report. I did so around 1995. I went to the Randall County Courthouse, sat around for most of one morning and then we were informed that the litigants settled; we were excused.
Every other time has resulted in potential jurors being excused without even having to report to the courthouse.
My great-niece asked whether she is “crazy” to want to serve on a jury. No, honey, you are not crazy. You are a conscientious citizen of a great country.
I have been told that my job as a journalist likely disqualified me from jury duty had I been selected as part of a pool of potential jurors. Indeed, my wife once was chosen for a Jefferson County jury pool, but then was disqualified when one of the lawyers recognized her last name. He came back to her and said an editorial that I had written for the local newspaper suggested a bias on her part. Her response? “He wrote it. Not me.”
I’m retired these days. I am living in a county with a significantly larger population than any of our previous counties of residence. I figure my chances of getting a summons are reduced.
Rats! I would love to serve on a jury. Just as my great-niece asked: Am I crazy?