So, what’s your excuse?

Counties across the state have a problem with residents not showing up for jury duty when they get summoned. Randall County is no different, but one resident who had a legitimate reason to be excused from such duty decided to answer the call to duty.

Sheriff Joel Richardson reported for jury duty in early February, which happened to be the opening day of Michael Stocker’s capital murder trial. He could have placed a call to District Clerk Jo Carter. He didn’t have to show up. He could have declared a conflict of interest — and brother did he ever have one. Carter would have given the sheriff a pass, right? Richardson had inside knowledge of the case, given that his agency was involved in the arrest and investigation of the notorious case involving the death of drug runner Dustin Pool.

Well, Richardson was interviewed by Stocker’s lawyer and admitted truthfully that his intimate knowledge of the case made him unable to serve. He was dismissed as a juror.

Richardson, stand-up guy that he is, did his duty.

It’s too bad so many others simply fail to show up to take part in a process that demands citizen participation. Without citizens reporting for jury duty, the system breaks down.