Is it Counter Intuitive to Enjoy Jury Duty?

Is it counter intuitive to enjoy Jury Duty?

Most people avoid or want to avoid Jury Duty or JD. For every one person who likes JD, there are at about 20 who don’t want it to disrupt their regular routine. Many complain or say disparaging things about this process.

Count me in the “weird” or the “Curious Kevin” category but I don’t get the fuss. I’ve been involved with JD twice and really enjoyed it. The second time was much more enjoyable as it was a jury trial and there were several multi-hour deliberations.

Because I enjoy JD, does that mean I have interest in the justice system?

From my perspective, it’s my civic duty just like voting – I guess I take it seriously. However, it’s much more than that. I had enrolled in a number of criminal justice classes during my university years – maybe I’m evaluating the criminal justice system – does it work in reality the way it works in theory?

I’m just interested to see how the criminal justice system works in practice as opposed to theory. Does the county justice system really work as it was described in those criminal justice textbooks from decades ago? Is the jury model a significant deviation from theory? Curious minds are inquiring.

When you become a juror, it only takes a few minutes to realize most jurors are part of this process begrudgingly.  Some of them may say the wrong thing, in hopes of being rejected for inappropriate or biased behavior. Some say controversial things or they act very religious or display irrational behavior to help them out of it. It’s fun to hear fellow jurors bitch and complain when hearing a case. It rather reminds me of a Chicago Sports’ Radio station after a Bears loss. Bitching, moaning, and complaining.

If I had to serve a few times a year, that might become an issue but being called a few times for each score year, it’s not much of an inconvenience and can be educational and fun.

Is it your civic duty? Do you cringe when your name is called? Do you raise an eyebrow, roll your eyes or shrug your shoulders? How many people out of 100 would really care about civic duty?

In terms of serving on a juror, it’s been written that all members of the jury represent 12 people who were not smart enough to get out of jury duty. Not a very respectful or supportive way to think of a vital part of the criminal justice system.

Maybe I’ve miscalculated how people feel about JD – maybe there are more people who don’t mind the experience but societal pressure may prevent them from admitting it publically. There may be others interested in the process but with no much negative publicity, they’d be afraid to admit it because then they may need to justify it…

Who knows, I may learn a thing or two and develop friendship with a fellow juror during this process.

Do you have any strong opinions about jury duty? If you served, what’s your preference with the type of trial you’d like to serve on? 

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.