Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Jury Duty

One of my coworkers has had to report for jury duty almost every day for the last two weeks (some were only half days). Until this evening, I found it an annoyance, an inconvenience, because by-golly there are computers that need fixing!

I've been amazed over the last several years at how keen I am on forming strong opinions (in this case, about jury duty), and then how keen God is at finding some relevant real-life event that makes me completely change my mind.

Tonight I read something about jury duty that gave me a new perspective. This is an excerpt from a Facebook group of which I'm a member:
I think it is important to mention something about serving on jury duty. Although I have never been summoned for duty, I understand the cultural annoyance with those pesky letters requiring us to take off work to serve our community. Some people have legitimate excuses for why they cannot serve; others do not. Because all of you have an interest in this case, you understand the importance of a jury and holding somebody accountable for their crime. Imagine if all the people summoned for this case, who do not know which case it is prior to opening arguments, didn’t feel like it was important enough to serve. Juries are essential for a functioning democracy. According to NPR’s This American Life, people who serve usually enjoy it once all is said and done.

For anyone who’s ever found jury duty an annoying civil obligation, I sincerely thank you for being willing to serve. My perspective has been changed.

I read that the jury selection for Katherine Olson’s murder trial will begin two weeks from now. Please pray for wisdom in the selection process, and for the future jurors themselves, that they will be able to enter the case without preconceived convictions, and that justice will be served.

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