I finished my first tour of jury duty here in Putnam County. I was amazed at the process of justice and the labor intensive measures of calling citizens to serve in this capacity, and the numbers of people needed to fill the many courts.
Marcia Borys, County Court Clerk, does a tremendous job in organizing this endeavor and she keeps it as efficient as possible… having multiple means of communication and making jurors feel appreciated. I served in Judge Leon Burns court and he showed incredible patience in explaining our roles as jurors.
I have to admit that I wasn’t crazy about the idea of giving up nine weeks with no idea of how my schedule might change on a weekly basis. I’m busy, but so are a lot of other people and what I thought when I went to serve was that if I were on trial I would want a jury of citizens who were fair, competent and willing to serve. It’s part of being a democracy.
During my term, I was only selected to serve on one case as a juror. It was an incredible experience actually. It’s painful to see anyone on trial and know that lives are changed by the outcome regardless of the decision rendered. It’s a responsibility that is not taken lightly by anyone there and as both sides build a case the final decision is ultimately up to the jury. That’s a lot of responsibility and again an important responsibility.
My term is over. I’m glad that I had the opportunity and I encourage all eligible citizens to serve if called on. I think that it will be an experience that you will appreciate…even if it does take time. Just imagine if you were on trial, who would you want deciding your fate? If called…take the time.
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