I was called to Jury Duty today. In California, we now have the “One Day, One Jury” system meaning that you report on the day of your summons and if you aren’t selected for jury service you are released from jury duty and won’t be summoned again for at least another year.
While at the Courthouse today in the Jury Lounge, we were given instructions by a clerk and then one of the judges assigned to that courthouse spoke to all of us about the American Jury System and what we could expect today, what we could expect if we were chosen, etc. During his talk (it really wasn’t a speech), he quoted part of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by using the word “Justice” and then followed with “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
I have been called to Jury Duty many times in my life and have been selected twice. I have served as a jurist on both a civil trial and a criminal trial. But, today I wasn’t called and was released from Jury Duty right around the time that the news wires flooded with reports of the terrorist activity today at the Boston Marathon. My head can’t wrap itself around the evil that instigated this senseless tragedy.
While our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, we can’t even begin to understand what they are going through right now, what they will have to endure and what the future holds for them. With evil intent, lives have been lost and futures ruined, hopes and dreams smashed, and a cherished institution – the Boston Marathon – is changed forever.
But, whether this tragedy is deemed by the hands of foreign or domestic terrorists, I know from experience that the American Jury System works and if caught and brought to trial, justice will be served because “the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
With a heavy heart,