Maine Judge Is Going To Get Tough On Jury Duty Dodgers
A few years back when I registered to vote after moving back to Bangor, it seemed to cause a cascade of events to occur that I wasn't expecting. At first, it was just the usual stuff. I got bombarded with political flyers, new notices from the city that only my wife had been getting previously, that kind of thing. Then one day, an unsuspecting letter shows up addressed to me from Penobscot County. I thought that was a touch strange, because who gets mail from the county?!
Being somewhat naive, I tore right into the envelope without a care in the world. But then inside, lo and behold, was a notice to serve jury duty. At first I didn't think much of it, somehow assuming I could just say I had to work, and I'd get right out of it, that was mistake #1. Then when I went to the first round of selection, I thought I could just seem bored enough to get out of it....that was mistake #2. Luckily, I didn't choose mistake #3, which would've consisted of just flat out lying. But perjury ain't cool, yo.
So I did my duty, and despite the relatively boring nature of the case I was chosen for, it was actually a pretty cool experience. I felt part of a smooth process of appropriately delivered justice. In my case, it was a personal suit over a car accident, that ultimately the plaintiff was found at fault for, with no guilt on the defendant's part.
But a lot of people just hear the phrase jury duty and freak out, and go through almost every maneuver imaginable to try and get out of it. And I'm telling you, it's just not that bad. It's certainly not bad enough to lie about, or just skip altogether, which is an issue that Superior Court Justice Robert Mullen from the Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan, is taking a serious stance on, according to the Associated Press.
The problem of no-show jurors has, at times, been detrimental in hearing cases, and generally slowing down the judicial process. Mullen believes it's the civic duty of Mainers to serve on juries, and is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. And, not showing up could result in up to a $100 fine or three days in the slammer!
Trust me, it's nowhere near as exciting as it looks on court shows on TV. It's not like Law & Order in there in real life. But....it's more fun than you think it is. And, you get to participate in delivering what you personally believe to be fair justice. So I say, don't skip it, show up and watch the law at work.