Most people wince when they open a jury summons, but when I opened mine this week, it filled me with delight and the hope that this time will be the charm.
I love stuff like this. I love being a citizen, and all the little duties and privileges that go along with the title. I love the Pledge of Allegiance, the God one, the Not God one, it’s all good. I know how a bill becomes a law. I know who my elected representatives are, all the way down to the school board. I still have the ticket stub from my first election somewhere. I am Joe Citizen. And I will judge you fairly.
The requirements to be on a jury are all within my grasp: 18 or older; be able to read, write and speak English, well I think I do a pretty good job for someone who came to this country from Plum Borough; be physically and mentally able to serve. Hey, one of my friends got called up and he has views on gun control that make Ted Nugent sound almost human.
I know I would be a topnotch juror. You know that movie about a jury, Twelve Angry Men? Well, with the exception of a former newspaper colleague, I am the angriest man I know. I have enough anger that that four guys could show up in a great mood, and we would still be Twelve Angry Men.
This is only the second time I’ve even been summoned, and the last one was a disappointment. They never even asked me to report to the courthouse, which meant that someone entitled under the constitution to a jury of his or her peers, was deprived of my excellent peerage. I hope it doesn’t happen again. Let me judge you. You won’t be disappointed.