Monday, March 29, 2010

Jury Duty!

I am writing this blog post from the jury room at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles. I am waiting with about 200 other people to see if I will be selected on to uphold the 6th Amendment.

The packed room includes a very diverse group of people: many cultures, several languages, businesspeople, students, retirees, “homemakers” (why is this term still relevant?) and even a familiar face: a fellow board member of LA’s BEST. It intrigues me that so people from such different walks of life have been mandated to gather at the same place on the same day.

Yet most people are bitching about being here.

Which I understand because I have been hearing from people all week about what I can do to get out of this “situation” – just don’t go, lie when they ask you questions, tell them you are racist. Really? Is that what society (or perhaps just my social circle?) has come to: being dishonest to dodge a process that was founded to ensure that each person is provided due process?! If we were in the same place, wouldn’t we want the best possible people listening to our case?

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the inconvenience of serving jury duty. At this moment, I have several active events happening at work and my business partner is on maternity leave. But I hardly think that I am so important that a couple days out of the office will materially affect the course of my business. And, unlike others in the room, I will still pull a paycheck if I actually have to sit on an active case.

Having said that, I still have my fingers crossed that I will be released at the end of the day, thus fulfilling my responsibility for an entire year. Because although I know I would be an excellent juror and would find the process very interesting, I am really not that virtuous (or crazy) that I am hoping to be selected - it would be a nuisance to be out of the office for an extended period of time, and God forbid the BDI team be left to their own devices for too long in beautiful summertime weather!

But if I am selected to serve, I will suck it up, be honest and perform to the best of my ability; not only it is a basic tenet of a democratic society, but it is also an importance practice of the Golden Rule. And certainly if I were on trial, I would hope that everyone does the same for me. 


Zainab said...

yay mel! happy for you!

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