Ignoring advice posted in this forum on how to get out of jury duty, I reported to my recent court ‘assignment’ without objection. I’m not one to play games as suggested in earlier articles, and from past experience I can assert that jury duty is not the uncomfortable and invasive experience it’s often made out to be. I am concerned, however, at the seeming lack of authority jurors actually have.
Without getting into the details of the case I sat in for, I will tell you that the judge essentially reversed the decision of the jury. I am confused, then, on why a jury was even called in the first place! It seems like a waste of everyone’s time.
Wouldn’t it be easier to have an actually qualified panel, instead of a “jury of peers?” This way, you could ensure that the final verdict would be more in line with the judge’s sentencing, and we wouldn’t have to play this game anymore.
For the sake of time and money — both jurors’ and the judge and court officers — not to mention the future of the criminals, it’s time to take a long, hard look at the idea of jury duty, and make strides to change the system. The current way is, clearly, not working.
by Angel “Boz” Terwilliger