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Don't Take it for Granted



I read Jen Savage's piece regarding her recent jury duty ("Civic Duty," April 2). Thank you for serving and for sharing your experience. Being asked to make decisions that have such a great impact on victims and accused is not fun or easy. Our personal opinions about culpability are often out of sync with jury instructions. Sometimes, the whole thing might feel like one big Borefest.

The reality is we all signed up for this. Every time we take advantage of the more pleasant aspects of American society we have to remember we still have a few responsibilities that may not feel like the best use of our time, or at the worst, expose us to things we would rather pretend didn't exist. Sometimes we have to suck it up, be grateful we aren't the accused or the victim and then do our best to do our best.

I am tired of hearing people brag about getting out of jury duty, or moan and groan when they are "stuck" on a jury. If everyone tries to get out of it, or does it grudgingly, our system won't work the way it was intended. I would be thrilled to see our society find better ways to solve conflict than behind a Walmart or in our court system but we haven't yet figured out how to play nicely with others.

Given the choice between 12 (hopefully) thoughtful and unbiased people "wasting" their time on a jury, or vigilante justice and its permutations around the world (and in the U.S.) I vote we be more willing to "waste" time. Or at least stop whining about it. We don't get to only do the fun parts. A friend's mother told her when she didn't want to do something, "Do it anyway." So it is with jury duty.

Maggie Kraft, Eureka

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