I had the privilege to serve my state and country today. I was the recipient of the honor of jury duty. Now, you all may be sensing a bit of cynicism here. After experiencing the process, I can say, it’s only from what I’d heard, not from personal experience. After today, I actually have a higher regard for the legal process, but still see opportunities for improvement.
In the state of Indiana, potential and selected jurors are paid for their time and mileage, albeit nothing to get rich over. In my opinion this should not be the case. A person’s employer should be required to pay someone’s normal salary if they are chosen for jury duty, to me, it’s the same as if someone were called up from reserves. You might then also get people who are more interested in serving, than it just getting in-n-out with as little pain as possible.
My first impression after hearing the initial details of the case was, “Why is this even going to court?” Guess that opinion alone would have gotten me out of being selected, that is until I heard the further explanation of the due process of law. See, my thought is this, guy’s driving his car, ends up killing one person while actually trying to kill another. Then 2nd defendant was charged with lying to police and saying defendant #1 wasn’t in their house, when he actually was and she knew it. What needs to be discussed? AHA!! I was forgetting one crucial part of the process that I would like to have on my side in the event I was accused of something, INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY! I know, I know, elementary, should have thought of it myself.
This is getting long, so I’ll cut it short. The other interesting aspect that I’ve always heard, but haven’t truly thought in depth about is the “beyond reasonable doubt” clause. There was alot of time spent on defining “reasonable” by the lawyers. Interesting discussion, I’m actually looking forward to my next summons! I LOVE THIS COUNTRY!