Jury service means sacrifice. Miami’s civil courthouse, built nearly 100 years ago, is in deplorable condition. Jurors arrive having steeled themselves for a day of waiting patiently in the jury assembly room before enduring the tedious process of questioning at the hands of the judge and lawyers, and then, at last, hearing the facts of a case and rendering a decision. For their trouble they get inadequate seating, inadequate parking, inadequate bathrooms and outdated and undersized courtrooms. Plus, they’ll have to go elsewhere to find a decent cup of coffee.
But the rewards of serving on a jury and ensuring that justice prevails in a courtroom are immeasurable. Jurors represent protection, a bulwark against powerful societal interests and a sometimes rapacious government, none of whom has a monopoly on the truth. And with today’s all-volunteer military, it is the only significant sacrifice, other than taxation, that our country still asks of us as citizens.
The next time that notice comes in the mail, don’t think of it as an imposition. Don’t call or text me to ask how to get out of it. Consider it an opportunity to be soldier in the cause of justice.
And, for God’s sake, bring your own coffee.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
John Schlesinger on Jury Service
State Circuit Judge John Schlesinger (and former AUSA in the SDFLA) wrote an op-ed in the Miami Herald about jury service. The conclusion: