Friday, March 21, 2008

Shirking My Civic Duty

Dear Williamson County,

I have just received my jury summons dated February 27 and I am sorry to inform you that I will be unable to report to the county courthouse Monday morning at 8:30 AM. I do know how to get to the courthouse because I paid a speeding ticket there in 2000. It was my first and only ticket. By the way, did you know I haven't driven in five months? Really need to get out there and master the whole left side thing. Anyway, although my job does provide time off for jury duty, I believe the transportation costs would be prohibitive. Do you do any kind of reimbursement? I'd need around $2500 probably, plus food and lodging.

I have to ask you, justice system, why now? This is my first summons, after 20 years of responsible adulthood. All those years I wandered aimlessly looking for ways to apply my keen listening skills, capacity for compassion, and fairly logical mind to serve the better good. Recent tests have shown that I'm moving more toward a J in my Myers Briggs designation, so yeah, you're really missing out. (Can one wander with aim? Perhaps you can poll the jury pool and get back to me.)

I tried to call today but the office is closed for Good Friday. I'll try again Monday, but please please please don't revoke my citizenship! Or be mad.



mom Gunter said...

OH! BOY! I loved this one. It sure gave me a good laugh!!!!!This could only happen to you Sharon!

bockelmama said...

I remember when Williamson Co. called me in, (must have been 2 years ago, because I didn't have T-man). I did go to the courthouse, but got out of it because of a previously scheduled dr. appt. Your excuse is better, though.

Holly said...

I've had to go twice and spend a whole day sitting and waiting even though any lawyer in his right mind will strike another lawyer from a jury pool right off the bat. That is exactly what happened both times. They won't let you call and say, hey, I'm a lawyer, they're going to strike me, please don't make me sit in that horrible room all day. They don't care.

Jeff has served on two juries in the past 5 years and the second one tore him apart emotionally. He was really upset about it. The defendant was clearly guilty, but it was an assault in a nursing home, one patient on another; they were both old; it was sad. He's devising a way currently to get out of the next jury summons by saying that he cannot pass judgment upon another human being.

At the same time, however, (patriotic music swells), I do believe we should all try to participate when called upon to do so, if at all possible, as it is vital to our democracy. I would love to serve on a jury. Whenever we have a jury trial, I'm dying to know what goes on in the jury room. We sit outside and speculate, but we are usually wrong. You just can't predict.

Finally, nice post, Sharon. You should try to be a writer or something. : )