The Reckoner!

Jury Duty! Annoying inconvenience, or fun little lark?

I've been called for jury duty here in the great municipality of Philadelphia.  Swell.  Awesome.  It'll be a day of sitting in a hallyway, reading the crap out of some books, and fixating on all of the work I needed to get done that won't be happening for another day.

I'm not really crazy about spending that day within the halls of justice, but The Official Significant Other of The Reckoner is officially jealous as heck.  She wants to be called for jury day.  Nay, she craves it.  To her, it's the ultimate adventure of the democratic citizen -- a chance to participate in this wild democratic experiment and do something new that people rarely have the opportunity to do.  Plus, it breaks up a routine.

I happen to think that she's adorably nuts about this issue.  She thinks I'm just being a grump.  That's where you come in, my Reckonaut friends.  Tell me, is Jury Duty a fun lark, or just a pain in the butt?

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To be clear -- I've never done jury duty myself, either.  And while I'm looking forward to the opportunity to put some time in on Thinking. Fast and Slow, spending the whole day indentured to it is not exactly what I wanted.


I think you're dimishining the whole thing with this "fun little lark" business. It's actively participating in your government. It's being a citizen. It's that rare opportunity where, assuming you are called, you get to join a small group of fellow citizens from all walks of life--people you would never meet otherwise--and engage head on with what it means to be an American.

I also love voting.


I gotta go with 'annoying' here, although the novelty aspect of it is pretty compelling.  The problem was well described by Dan - it's hard enough to fit everything into one 24 day.  I'm reminded of a quote that goes something like "the problem with the american judicial system is that it is predicated on 12 people too dumb to get themselves out of jury duty."  Perhaps not altogether true, but a funny thought.  


It may be an inconvenience...but it is also our responsibility as citizens. Got to step up to the plate with this one...


I'm all for the concept of Jury Nullification as an important safeguard for our rights, but in most cases, it's just not applicable.  I think something needs to be changed about jury trials, but I'm not exactly sure what kind of change.


The Reckoner!