Karma and Jury Duty

  • Let’s face it: we all flinch when we get that letter from the government telling us we’ve been selected for jury duty. We all have better things to do with our lives, right? Right? Uh…wait a minute…

     

    As it happens, I, Karma Dar, am on jury duty. Since I am now technically retired, there is no limit on the number of days I can serve. At the moment I am part of a pool for what apparently is some kind of high-profile case that may run as long as twenty days.

     

    Yes, there are things I’d rather be doing. But there is absolutely nothing so basic to our freedom as trial by a jury of one’s peers. Who are our peers? In the jury assembly room where I was today, my peers were of every age from eighteen to I-can-only-guess, every color, creed, ethnicity, and working background. I heard several languages other than English being spoken. I know that some are more intelligent than I, some less so; some more educated, some less so; our talents and experience are all over the chart. And THAT is what makes them my peers: they are Americans, with all the differences and diversity that the term “American” implies. A jury of my peers isn’t highly-educated liberal white women. It’s the people in my jury pool I would want to judge me. A truly objective view isn’t from a single vantage point; objectivity requires a blank slate to be filled in with as much information as possible.

     

    When you get that summons, go. Don’t ignore it – that happens to be a crime anyway – just go. You know it’s the right thing to do.

     

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