My oldest son, Ryan, was called for jury duty. To say he was less than enthusiastic about the whole prospect is an understatement. I explained that jury duty, while inconvenient, is a crucial piece of our judicial system and that is a responsibility that should be held in high regard. Welcome to your civic duty, son. Welcome to adulthood.
When the dreaded jury duty summons comes in the mail, most people immediately begin to think of reasons why they cannot serve. My son was no exception.
“How do I get out of it?” were his first words to me.
“You don’t,” I replied. He had postponed once already and he did not have a valid reason not to serve, other than it may interfere with some serious XBox time. “Besides, if they don’t call your group, you don’t even have to go to court.”
Famous last words.
Of course, Ryan’s group was called, and he was to appear at 7:15 a.m. at the Mesa Municipal Court.
He was less than thrilled.
He was dismayed to learn that he could not eat or drink in the jury assembly room and that the battery on his cell phone was almost dead, too. I tried to change his mood by suggesting that he might be involved in a very interesting case, but my notion was dismissed with a scornful look.
So off he went to the courthouse, bright and early. I contacted a friend of mine who works at the court and told her about Ryan.
“My kid is in the jury assembly room and he’s wearing a blue shirt, tan pants and blue tennis shoes. Do you know if he was selected?” I queried.
She went to the holding room where all the potential jurors were gathered. She reported back to me that when he checked in, he told the clerk that he had had a late night and that he was very tired. My friend then proceeded to take a picture of Ryan, sleeping with his head on the table, directly under the Arizona state flag. It came as no great surprise, but Ryan was not selected to serve on the jury that day.
If each defendant is entitled to a jury of his peers, then needless to say, the defendant must not have been an exhausted, apathetic, young man in his twenties. God Bless America.