Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Civic Duty - Jury Service

I've just come off of jury duty and it was an interesting experience. I have served as a juror in a civil case involving parental rights in the past and that was a difficult thing because we were being asked to decide if a parent's rights to their child should be forever, permanently terminated. Not your cake walk through the park.
This time I was seated for selection during a case that involved extreme personal injury with a mother and unborn child. Ultimately I was dismissed from the selection because of personal viewpoints that would make it hard to be impartial for one of the sides of the case. All of the process got me to thinking about how hard it is to be truly impartial. Some of the jury criteria they seemed to be looking for was personal experience with injury, pain, etc. What a tightrope balance for both lawyers' sides--too much would make it hard to be objective; too little would make it hard to understand the gravity of the situation. Yet we were told that we should not put ourselves in the place of the injured or make decisions from empathy or sympathy. Wow, what a tall order.
The bright news is that I get paid $10 for my time, and my boss can't fire me for having to miss work for jury duty. But my boss can make me work overtime to finish those things that I missed out on while at the courthouse, and they won't even pay me for it. The joys of self-employment. I wonder if there is a union movement for the self-employed representing their rights against their self-employers. One of the strangenesses of life!

I did see this notice for the courthouse cafeteria:
Monday's special : Lazonia and garlic bread
Educational note: phonics is not making better spellers in some parts of Gaston County


Linda Starr said...

I can't help but think if we would say it like it is spelled it would be just as funny.

I've only been on one jury and it was really difficult knowing I was ultimately responsible for making a decision.

Jen Mecca said...

Thanks for the nice phone message today. (We need to get into the CDC!)
My class did finish those tapes of yours. I need to put them on the table the next time I head out the door to get the kids and bring them by. Thank you so much for those. They where great!
Happy jury duty!