So last week I had my first opportunity to serve this country that has given me so much: No, I didn’t go to Iraq. I served my jury duty.
It was pretty interesting.
I got into one of the ‘jury pools’ and that means I went into a Courtroom and participated in the pre-trial procedure to choose the actual 13 jurors that would decide the case.
This was a civil suit, nothing very interesting there. The cool part was to see how many loons there are in this world. I am not talking about biased folks. I am talking about crazy, insane, out of control people who can’t even manage to behave themselves in a court of law!
These were people who could not respond to the question “Will you be able to judge the facts of this case without pre-conceptions or prejudice against any of the parties involved?”
There was a lady that said that she would not because “she did not believe in the judicial system.” Other guy said he would never be able to favor the plaintiff because he thought the accused was poor.
At first I was mad at the judge and lawyers to allow these people to say these insanities. But later I understood their purpose: if you can prove to the judge that these people are not fit for a trial, you can dismiss them without using one of your four “unjustified dismissals” (these are used purely in a strategic way, with lawyers getting rid of perfectly capable juries that in their opinion would not favor their cause).
At the end of the selection process, 12 out of 45 were dismissed for being lunatics. My number was not up, and I walked out as an unneeded reserve.
Now I really don’t know if there is a better alternative to this jury system where regular citizens are called to participate. It sounds reasonable at first, but I got to tell you: it is a huge waste of time.
There were at least 300 people on that room with me. I actually counted how many were selected for juries: 41. I was there for two whole days, only got called into that one jury poll that lasted maybe 3 hours. They pay each person 10 dollars a day. Many people who were there lost income for those two days. Some that were selected for longer trials will lose much more.
Is this random and non-voluntary process the only option here for providing a fair outcome?
After this personal experience with our government inefficiency I wondered: who in their right mind wants to trust these people with their health care?