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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jury Duty

Filed Under: Inside Scoop, Local fun,

By Suzanne O'Connor

This last week was a first for me. I did my civic duty as a citizen and served on a jury.
Like most of us who lead super busy lives, I didn’t want to do it. I pleaded financial hardship… that didn’t fly. I answered the questions and offered up information I thought would make the lawyers want to get rid of me…. Nope, I was in.

This week, turned out to be a real education. I listened to testimony, observed the lawyers arguing their case and ultimately 12 people from vastly different lives deliberated the evidence and worked together to come to a verdict.

Though, serving ate up 4 whole days of time that was very precious to me, in the end I am glad I served. I learned a lot about the justice system. Some of it was disturbing, but mostly it was enlightening. Being there this week, gave me the chance to see the principles this country was founded on, put to work. Even the lowest, creepiest criminals get a shot at justice.

I also got to walk around a lot during lunch breaks. I finally got a chance to see the Bradbury Bldg., and The Disney Concert Hall up close. Both are spectacular. I watched a protest in front of City Hall, read about our country’s flags at the Civic Center’s Court of American Flags and look around The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Since the LA Courts are the busiest in the country, most of us will get summoned at some point to serve. Yeah it will make a week or two difficult, but ultimately it’s a small price to pay to be a United States citizen.

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