Jury duty

I believe in contributing to the health of the commons. I think societies need to hold and support certain elements in common — clean water and air, education, roads, etc. — because the society as a whole is stronger when everyone contributes to and is invested in those elements.

I believe that right up until I get called for jury duty and then I bitch up a storm. But as the presiding judge reminded us today, serving on a jury is our only required task as a citizen of the United States. We don’t get drafted into the army, and even our taxes are paid not because we are citizens but because we have income. Okay, fine, fine. I’ll do the right thing. Just don’t make me eat kale.

The jury pool was shown a loooong video about how important jurors are to the process. The words “justice” and “fairness” were bandied about with impunity.

Then the jury I was called for got halfway through the first witness and the judge called a mistrial on a technicality. Which felt a lot less like justice and fairness and a lot more like “law.”

Oh well, I did my civic duty. Justice and law may not be the same thing but I suppose they are brothers. In fact, they’d probably make great cowboy hero brothers in a couple Western romances. Justice and Law. One heroine would be a schoolmarm moonlighting as a train robber. The other heroine would be… uh, a trick rider in a traveling sideshow. Or maybe that’s just me.

On the plus side, I left download cards of Hotter On The Edge in the jury assembly room library. Maybe somebody will enjoy a bit of sci fi romance while they wait for their juror number to be called. And since I was in downtown Portland anyway, I went to Powells Books.

If only every day included a trip through Powells. Someone should make that a law.



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