There is not enough space for me to outline the hard road that women before us have tread so that we may have the right to sit in a jury room and deliberate the fate of one of our peers in the community. I sat in the large gathering room this week and listened to conversations other people were having about why they were there. One woman was talking about the advice she had been given on how to get out of doing her civic duty. I thought about what Susan B. Anthony and other women would have thought about that conversation. How quickly we forget the struggle to gain the right to vote and to sit on a jury.
We have become such a throw-away society. If it is inconvenient to us, we simply throw it away. No one wants to do it anyway. For just one second, think about what our society would be like without a jury. Who decides the punishment for committing crimes? Who decides which person should to pay in a landlord/tenant dispute? Would we have a Judge Judy sitting around every day to make all the decisions for us? That is a great idea. Let’s give the responsibility of making all the important decisions in our lives to the king, only one person. That did not work so well a few hundred years ago, and, I dare say, it would not work well today.
So, my ending thought is this: When you get that summons to appear for jury duty, look at it, smile and say, “Thank you, Susan! Good job.”