Jury duty is fine for the folks who work for government or corporations that can be counted on to pay them while they do their civic duty. For the truly retired with too much time on their hands jury duty can be fascinating. I’ve spent endless hours in courtrooms and have found that people who love jury duty are the same folks who watch The Jerry Springer Show. Too many civil and criminal trials offer an inside view of America’s trashiest trailer parks.
But for real folks with their own businesses, jury duty can be a nightmare of inconvenience, lost business opportunities, clients and expense. People with a life have nothing to gain by sitting on some jury and a lot to lose.
Because I’m an ex-cop and still work as a private investigator both prosecutors and defense attorneys are afraid to have me judge their criminal cases. In civil cases the reasoning is somewhat different but they don’t want me there either. If I’m called for this service I get shuffled around to courtroom after courtroom and eventually sent home. For me the jury selection auditions are a giant pain in the ass.
I’ve learned one thing about jury duty over the years. People who serve on juries want to be there, (YIKES!) or they’re just not smart enough to get out of serving. The folks that are finally selected for trials are always the last people I’d want to judge me or anyone else that I care about.
I have a friend I consider very bright who came up with a novel way to shirk his jury duty. Whenever he gets a jury duty questionnaire in the mail he borrows a set a crayons from his daughter and uses them to fill out the form. Next he draws little pictures on this form of stick figures hanging from a gallows and such. The jury commissioners always promptly send him an excused notice.