Yesterday, I answered the call for jury duty. Like most of the people summoned, I ended up not serving. Instead, I was dismissed at the end of the day. Still, it was an interesting and educational experience, as I got to see an important part of the U.S. legal system first-hand. One bit of trivia I picked up on my way out the door was that July is Juror Appreciation Month. Justice Brian Zahra and Justice David Viviano explain.
July is Juror Appreciation Month in Michigan. For everyone who has served on a jury, thank you for your hard work and dedication.There's more from Detroit Legal News.
July has been designated "Juror Appreciation Month" by the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize the many Michigan citizens who serve as jurors each year - and to encourage others to answer the call to jury service.The article has more facts about jury service at the link.
Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. said that the court chose July, the month in which the United States celebrates its independence, "to underscore the importance of jury service in our constitutional republic."
In a resolution signed by all the justices, the court proclaimed that "The right to jury trial is one of the fundamental values of American citizenship; jury service, like voting, is a direct participation in democracy."
Young observed, "For many people, their first thought on getting a summons for jury duty is 'How can I get out of it?' But that's profoundly unfortunate. Most people find jury service to be a very rewarding, interesting experience. More importantly, the people whose cases come before juries are depending on their fellow citizens' participation."
Young added, "Juries decide factual issues that affect the liberty and property of others. This is a critically important role, but we would not have juries without the many people who generously give of their time to serve."
I may be glad for the experience, but I'm also happy that I don't have to serve. I could have been on that jury for two weeks. I'd rather be home and at my regular job. If I remember, I'll post about the results of the trial when it's over.