Tomorrow morning at 8:30 I will report for jury duty in Room 431 at Denver District Court, 1437 Bannock Street. Under Colorado’s One Day or One Trial Jury System, I must be prepared to serve at least one full day or, if I am selected for a trial, the duration of that trial. “Most jurors complete their jury duty in one day,” the notice read from Le Anna L. Mosher, Jury Commissioner. Tomorrow represents my one allowable postponement. The email she sent me confirming this has the following signature quote below her contact information:
“Jury service is a right and a privilege, but it is also a responsibility of citizenship.”
I served on a jury here in Denver about six years ago, in a case brought against an optometrist by a red-haired lawyer whose LASIK surgery had gone awry. I remember that after the LASIK procedure the plaintiff couldn’t drive at night, because oncoming headlights caused stars to explode in his vision. We found in favor of the defendant doc, because we thought he had done everything required of him by law to warn the lawyer about the risks of the procedure. I think that trial went a couple of days, and I was fascinated by the whole process. And impressed. Mainly I was impressed by how hard we of the jury worked to understand the facts and the law. I remember thinking to myself, “If I were in trouble with the law, I’d feel pretty good having this group decide my case.”
So I want to be at the top of my game tomorrow, in case I’m chosen for a jury. That means a good night’s sleep – no surfing the web, twittering, or adding a quick episode to The Reading Edge. What’s indicated is a bath, and some slow reading in The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler on my Kindle.
Somewhere in Denver tonight, a defendant and a plaintiff are hoping for a good night’s sleep before their trial, probably one that seemed as if it would never arrive. They are both praying, in whatever manner they address destiny, for justice. There will be a judge, lawyers, clerks, and police officers to protect the process. All of us will turn in for bed pretty soon.
I pray that we will all wake up rested and ready to do our best for justice and the rule of law in a nation where these cherished qualities are more than words.