I tend to think of myself as a pretty reasonably minded person, and I'm open to opposing viewpoints on a pretty wide variety of topics. Yesterday, however, I was perusing the Spacebooks and came across someone calling jury duty "legalized government slavery."I'm no attorney, but with an MS in Criminal Justice, I felt qualified to debate the merits of a trial by jury system and civic duty. I can understand not liking jury duty. I can even sympathize with those who do not want to take part in it. I just cannot seem to wrap my head around believing something like this can be viewed as slavery.
His argument centered around the inconvenience of it and the economics. At 9 dollars a day (25 beyond two days), he is not compensated nearly enough to participate. Employers who pay their employees a full day's wage to take part should also stop, because they see no economic benefit. When I tried to go into the "civic duty" argument, he jumped in with "I pay my taxes, nothing more should be required or requested of me." His solution to the jury duty dilemma was to fill the rolls with the unemployed and those on social welfare programs. At this point, I pretty well just let it go. Not only was I unable to see his side of the argument, but I was getting angry.
I guess the point of this post is to vent my frustration, but also to perhaps stir some discussion with some folks far more intelligent than I. Am I just a homer for the legal system, which even with all of it's flaws, I see as the model for most of the rest of the world? Or, when did society fall so far that it became socially acceptable to take no part in societal duties? I've got a real problem with the regression we've shown. I'm not sure when it started, but it seems we've reached a tipping point from which there may be no safe return. Thoughts guys and BSDivas? Also, the preview seems to not work with the popup blocker they use at work, so apologies in advance folks.