Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Victory in Serving...after officership (Archived 2007)

I recently received my third jury summons from the County Clerks Office of Kings County in Brooklyn, NY. I was selected with others to serve on the jury. I WAS JUROR NO. 3 in the criminal case of the People of New York vs. John Doe (fictional name used), the man accused, and eventually convicted, of burning down a neighborhood grocery store in Brooklyn in August of 2007. 

I have some thoughts I'd like to share. The trial service for us the jurors lasted for a week and a half. Many of us saw this obligation as a major inconvenience on our private time. Our lives were interrupted in substantial ways. We could not go to work or do the ordinary thing such as picking up children from school or for that matter make any definite plans for the immediate future. 

The disruption to our lives became a subject of complaint among us on a daily basis. We wished for the trial to be over quickly. Yet, I worried that we might rush to judgment and that Mr. Doe might not get the fair and impartial assessment of his actions that he and every American deserves and are entitled to by law. However, when deliberations began, something wonderful and magical happened that not only allayed my fears but rekindled my pride in SERVING and being an American. As soon as our deliberations began, all complaining ended. Every juror immediately accepted the burden of responsibility that our system of jurisprudence placed upon him/her. 

Although John Doe is no doubt unhappy with the verdict's outcome, he has no reason to worry that he was not given the benefit of every doubt by this and every juror. We heard his own defense and took all the time necessary to make a careful evaluation of the evidence as required to make a fair judgement. Justice was done by a jury of his peers. A long time ago we Americans decided as a people that we would live in a nation of laws and not men. How else could liberty and freedom be preserved? This liberty is a gift we have given ourselves, one that must be jealously guarded if it is to endure. One of the ways that we citizens accomplish this preservation is by SERVING. When the trial of John Doe concluded, every one of the 12 jurors who had determined his fate felt privileged to have been chosen to serve. 

To my fellow former officers, when the clarion call reaches your mailbox, when the invitation to SERVE your nation and community, do your duty; do not decline or seek to avoid your social responsibility. Instead, embrace your responsibility and smile knowing that when you perform jury duty you protect a way of life that is the envy of much of the world. "I stand amaze in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how he could love me a sinner condemned unclean." How fortunate I am! Andre Burton Times Square Corps New York USA


Anonymous said...

A very interesting take on serving...

I commend you on posting the many varied articles. They touch a broad range of subjects.

Former Officer
US Central Territory

Anonymous said...

This is amazing. I just received another Jury Duty Notice and was very upset. I have written to them three times in the last few years as to why I can't serve. I would love to serve but it is physically impossible for me . The notice was mixed up in my Christmas Cards.

I wish I could but with my arthritis it is a physical hardship. Just walking into the Courthouse would be a physical hardship. I don't even vote anymore because I don't want to get called for Jury Duty. I'm a Senior Citizen now. I wish they had a cut off age where they no longer bother you. I asked the Dr for a letter and she refused to write me one. She also refuses to give me something for my pain. Where do these teenagers get these illegal drugs from? I can't even get something for my pain from a DR.
So much for the medical establishment. So I have to write another letter and now I'm going to keep a file and a record.

Sorry guys get the younger physically capable people to do it.

I'm thinking of consulting with an attorney concerning my situation with regards to not being taken care of by the Medical Establishment and these Jury Duty Notices.

I also as a former Minister would hate to pass judgement on someone which would affect them the rest of their lives. Let God judge them.

Anonymous said...

Wow! just yesterday i was in conversation with a colleague about her up and coming opportinuty to serve on jury duty. Coincidence?

Andre L Burton
USA East