How to get out of jury duty?
Please don't try!
My brilliant friend/attorney, Damara Watkins, will ask me to assist her during the jury selection process on some cases. I also tend to stay around until the verdict comes in, even if it is 3:30 am Saturday morning.
Last week I assisted her with a criminal trial that only lasted until 8 pm Friday. I have been thinking a lot about this defendant and our Sixth Amendment in particular! 'In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.' It guarantees some crucial aspects of due process, in other words, the Sixth Amendment guarantees a FAIR trial.
In the case last week, it was said about 400 summons were mailed out... only 71 showed up! As I was looking at the young defendant, I realize his future is in the hands of these 12 people. And all I could think about was our awesome judicial system. We are not like other countries and that is a great thing. I have been guilty of trying to get out of jury duty for sure. Who has 2 to 5 days to spare or more? Life is busy, BUT once one sees how important the twelve jurors are it puts life in perspective.
Just show up! Be honest and be grateful we live in a country with an amazing system put in place many years ago by some really smart people!