Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Proud to Be an American

Last Thursday I served for jury duty for the first time ever. It was actually pretty interesting to me. It was for the circuit court for our county, so it while it was important, it wasn't a really big deal. They run on the one-day/one-trial system. So if you aren't called to come into court the day you're assigned, you're off the hook. No one got called the day I was there and we were dismissed by 2 pm.

Generally speaking the most people serve in that court are for 3 days, so even if I had been called it likely wouldn't have been too bad. I was somewhat glad/somewhat sad to not have been called. It would have been kinda neat to experience, but I was also super busy at work and just really didn't feel like it landed in a good week for me.

The overall experience though was quite fascinating to me. I know a lot of people didn't want to be there, including me at first. Then they showed us an intro video telling us our responsibilities as a juror if we're called, walking through the process of the court system, etc. Even though I'd learned all that stuff at one time, I hadn't really used it in many years so it was good to get a refresher.

That video really got me fired up to be there. All of a sudden it went from dull to feeling very proud to be an American. Not every country has this right, this privilege. We help serve, as citizens of this great country, to decide the fate of our peers. That is a huge responsibility, and the weight of it suddenly hit me as I watched that video.

And it scared me when I thought about someone's life being in my hands.

I spent a great deal of time that day watching, waiting, resting, reading, listening, learning, and praying feverishly for all those involved with cases, and for those of us in the jury assembly room... that if we were called that God would guide us in our decision-making.

I'm so thankful for our country, our freedoms, and our privileges!! And even though jury duty was a little boring and we didn't end up being called on, I'm so glad I got to be part of the process. I will never dread it again.

{I know people from other countries read this blog, and I hope you don't feel left out. I love having a group of readers from around the world! But I just had to share this experience. I'm sure you live in a great country too! :)}

1 comment:

blueviolet said...

I haven't done that yet. My mom did it and loved it. She was the leader on a murder trial too. Yikes!