First, we hate it; that little pretentious and ominous envelope that lets us know that we are needed – by the justice system, for the greater good of the nation – in court to help decide somebody’s or some case’s fate. Then, we hate it even more as we sit in a crowded courtroom, waiting for our name to be selected, or not selected. Most of the time, we’re not selected. Then, a strange byproduct of love comes into play, a feeling of dejection. We feel rejected and unworthy. We want to know why we weren’t good enough to be on the jury.
Was it something we said? Maybe.
Was it the clothes we wore to court? Highly doubtful.
Was it my facial features? Does the justice system think I’m too ugly to be on a jury? Maybe it was the size and shape of my body. Maybe, but very unlikely.
Then, we realize that it was none of the above. No, it is far worse. We didn’t get selected because of our personalities. The lawyers who were screening us decided that we weren’t fit to serve the higher power of law. Thusly, they reject us, casting us aside like Frankenstein did to his creation. We, the unselected jurors, are the hideous and monstrous creations of the justice system, subjected to human laws but disallowed to participate.
Ouch, that stings the ego. I’m okay with being ugly, because ugly/beauty is superficial anyway. But my personality, that’s a far more in depth flaw. These lawyers, for some reason or another, did not see me as a person who is fully capable of listening to the facts of their case and contributing to a fair and unbiased verdict in accordance to the law.
What, did they think I wouldn’t understand the facts of the case or that I wouldn’t understand the law? Maybe they doubted whether or not I could view the facts of the case in context to the law.
Did I somehow come off as sounding prejudiced?
You know what? I don’t care. I didn’t want to be on the jury anyway. If anything, I’m too good to be on the jury. My time is too precious. I have better things to do. My two-cents is worth more than other people’s opinions anyway.
Okay, who am I kidding? There’s a certain allure in being able to contribute to the justice system of America. That’s why we watch legal dramas on television. We only hate it because we’re mandated. Nobody likes anything that is forced upon them, it sort of violates our sense of freedom. Ironically, it is necessary (in this context, at least) for us as individuals to lose a little freedom (maybe for a few hours, maybe for a few days) in order to preserve the greater freedom which is democracy.
Truthfully, I believe that deep down inside us all, we really want to be jurors. We really want to ensure that everyone receives the justice that they deserve, because if we were on trial we would want and deserve the same. It’s just, I don’t know, maybe they could tell us more nicely. Instead of that daunting, white and red envelope with the sharp edges, how about a postcard with Al Pacino’s infamous line from AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, “You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order!” followed by a caption that reads: That’s why you’re needed for jury duty. See you soon.