Monday, July 13, 2015

Why you should look forward to Jury Duty!

For most Americans, they HATE getting Jury Summons from the local courts.  They do everything in their power to avoid having to serve.  And more pathetic is those who actually get chosen to serve on a jury and to hear them answer questions to the lawyers and the Judge to obviously try to get off of serving.

I was one of those.  As a business owner, I could get off in the past because I was self-employed and therefore it could be an economic hardship.  What a crock.  I had good people working with me.  I didn't have to use that excuse.  I was just lazy.  I wanted to do what I wanted to do. 

Embarrassing.

But this is what happened... I served... on a murder trial.  Well I was an alternate (this is actually the worst, as you have to sit and listen to the whole case then you get dismissed without knowing the verdict or getting to deliberate.)  It was a 3 week trial.  It was fascinating.  I don't watch much TV, but it is like watching a Crime Drama show.  Slowly but surely the lawyers would make their case by interviewing witnesses.  As each witness answers the questions, the story builds.  And really only after listening to the whole trial can you really piece together what actually happened.  And you have to use your own discernment to determine who is telling the truth or what you think is most accurate.  As you are going through the trial, you can take notes.  But you cannot talk to anyone about the trial.  Then in deliberations, you get to discuss each point that was made.  You get to listen to how others heard different witnesses.  You realize you didn't hear and remember every point after hearing others review the trial.  You realize everyone has a prejudice about some aspect of the facts of the case.  But in the end, you all are trying to do the same thing.  That is, you are trying to properly judge your peer, your fellow citizen based upon the facts reflected in the trial.

Fascinating really!  This is how our Founding Fathers determined was best to settle disputes with each other.  And it works!

But it really only works if EVERYONE participates.  It cannot just be the elderly that have the time.  It cannot just be those who have to do it because of their job.  It needs to be all of us so that each jury is truly a representation of our society.  It needs to be all of us so that we all understand how our system works.

I love our Country.  She only asks two things of me.  Vote.  Jury Duty.  (Besides paying taxes of course.)  That is a pretty low bar.  Many country require every citizen to serve in the military for 2 years.  

Next time you get the summons, do everything you can to say YES!  You will then be even more proud to be an American

And, finally,

here is a selfish reason.  Someday, you might be wrongfully accused.  Who do you want judging YOU?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Patriotic? I don't think so...

We just celebrated our Nation's birth last weekend.  What an amazing time for our Country.  Everyone is waving flags, taking the day to celebrate with friends, and watching fireworks shows to top off the day. 

We obviously LOVE our Country!  There truly is SO much to love about it.  It is beautiful!  Grand Canyon, Washington DC, Yellowstone, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and Yosemite are just a few of the things we treasure.  We have Liberty thanks to the amazing sacrifice of our young people over the past 200 plus years.  Social and political freedoms are wonderful.
Yosemite National Park

Yes, we HAVE a lot with this great Nation.  And what does She ask in return?  Not much for the average citizen- voting and jury duty!  Because of the sacrifice of the few, we are free.  Because of the economic engine we have continue to build upon, we have wealth.  But WE must DO something with all of this... vote and serve on jury duty.

If on July 4 each year, the only way we could get the day off of work was if either we served in the military or we proved that we had voted in every election and served jury duty every chance we got... would you get the day off?

Hmmm, think about that as you celebrate our great Country...