Prior to one of my recent forays into a local court, I stood outside the court where a large pool of people stood waiting to see if they would be selected for Jury Duty. Most were not impressed with the idea, and were discussing amongst themselves ways to tell the court they could not serve, and finding every excuse in the book to "get out of jury duty". One in particular referenced the whole process as a bunch of "sh*t".
Well being the kind that always tried to teach our children nicer ways of addressing the fouling things in life, we would be inclined to reference what the dog drops as 'doody' as in its time to go clean all the dog doody out of the yard.
So the real question is do the american people have it right - is jury duty "jury doody"? or is this a duty we should be going well out of our comfort zone to embrace? After all the courts would rather just eliminate the jury process, and streamline everything to bench trials, and the thought of defendants going up before juries are often perceived as being worse than just dealing with a grandfatherly judge. So whats the problem?
The American justice system is built on the mandate of the United States Constitution - particularly Section 2 that where it states: "The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed."
Allowing the media to try people prior to a proper jury trial is a violation of the constitution unless it has been directed as such by Congress - but that is an argument for another days blog (maybe tomorrow).
My real issue for today is the importance of the Jury trial, and the necessity of the American people to take this obligation seriously, and respect it responsibly.
The reality is that the Jury is the essential objective component in the American system that holds every aspect of the process accountable on behalf of the accused.
There are significant problems with abandoning the jury concept regardless of the desired expeditious preferences of judges and the courts; the primary problem being the fact that the judges and the courts are a part of "the system".
Grandfatherly judges are almost exclusively the fiction of media. The real tragedy in such perception is the lure of expeditiousness over the fairness of a proper and constitutional jury trial. I don't care if they are more expensive and time consuming - they are more safe, just, and legally accurate, and no one should accept anything less for anything.
The problem is becoming complicated by the resistance of the American public to serve on juries, giving the courts the excuse they need to avoid jury trials at every opportunity.
Add to this the liberal left's preoccupation with running roughshod over the constitution, and democratic preferences for introducing legislation that violates the constitution without as much as a thought (let alone any serious consideration), it can't be long before the fools offer a proposal to make all trials bench trials eliminating the constituional right to a jury trial, and effectively eliminating the basis for the real rule of law.
You may have been called for jury duty yourself and tried to find a valid excuse to avoid the time loss, and who could blame you right? Well who are we going to blame in the end when the right to a jury trial disappears, and the system is left with free reign to sabotage your rights? A bench trial appeal?
If you don't yet fear the 'Just Us' system, you had better get your head out of the sand - these people are out to destroy us all. The system will only do what is best for the system - not you.
Every move that has not be challenged by individuals has removed more personal rights and freedoms, and added to this problem.
You need to appreciate the opportunity to serve, and counsel everyone around you that this right and obligation is really an opportunity that is well worth the effort.
Further, we should be demanding of our politicians legislation that encourages the jury trial approach by funding jury pay stipends more generously, and educating in the schools more effectively in this regard. The ignorance in the masses is killing the freedoms we have, and the rights to maintain these freedoms.
Without better education on things like this that truly matter, we leave the educators with the freedom to decide how to waste our kids time that is no longer needed to teach knowledge, and all they can come up with is more diversity and tolerance training or the perverts sex ed classes.
Big help all that stuff will be when were all locked up for finally waking up and speaking our minds against the system, and can't find a jury of our peers.