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Jury duty and its implications in a "free" society

I got a questionnaire in the mail today regarding jury duty, and it really got me thinking about being a libertarian and how jury duty plays into my philosophy.

Now I know many people who are libertarians and herald jury duty as an incredible way to score one for liberty. I completely understand this viewpoint. You finally have a chance to make a direct impact. What better way to enforce the principles of freedom than by serving on a jury?

But here's the thing that gets me: isn't it against the principles of freedom to involuntarily be summoned to jury duty? Forget about how important jury duty is. Let's say I am an apathetic imbecile, and I have no interest in reworking my routine to accommodate an appearance as a juror. Is it not my right as a free individual to do so? Does the government have the right to summon me against my will in this one instance of civic duty? Since I can "score one for liberty," does that make it okay to be forced into appearing? Is this a loophole around freedom, for freedom?

It truly angers me deep down inside knowing there is a government body out there that can summon me at their will to appear as a juror, which is something I have no interest in doing in the first place. I understand the power it grants you as one who is fighting for liberty -- and if you want to utilize that power then so be it -- but don't make people involuntarily serve. I can be minding my own business, working and making a living for myself, going day to day as a peaceful civilian, and BOOM to government can summon me at their will and against mine. That is not freedom at all.

Why can't they work out a voluntary service? Why do they put the fate of people in the hands of those who are involuntarily taken from their day-to-day schedules? Is there not a better way?

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Jury duty is a responsibility of citizenship

It is not the government coercing you, but your peers in your community. Each of us has a responsibility to be a neighbor, to self-govern. The jury is a bulwark against a singular despot or tyrannical state.

Like paying taxes to support basic community needs, you don't have a choice.

However, in times of revolution all bets are off. If we believe our government is no longer legitimate, then active resistance is required. We may be there now.

But that is not to say that the western concept of citizenship is invalid as some anarchists might argue. It is recognizing the reality of the current condition and acting accordingly until a better system of self-governance can be established.

Jury duty can be involuntary servitude, or liberating

You are correct in identifying a flaw in our jury system. Compulsory jury duty gives the State the power to summon and detain you, depriving you of work and income. You go to serve your jury duty, and they don't select you because you have a brain. If Big Brother has a grudge against you, he can summon you every year, wasting your day at your expense, with no intention of letting you serve on a jury. What if you are a sole proprietor who has employees who need you to be there to do their work? The employees who are dependent on you suffer when you are summoned, and Big Brother can penalize you by summoning all of your employees anytime he wants to disrupt your business. A big corporation can sustain this insult, but not a small business that Big Brother wants to kill.

Our duty as Americans is to understand our right as a jury member to nullify any law we don't agree with. That is what our Founding Fathers intended and what the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, said is our right. Checks and balances are what make our Constitution work, and the bottom line is it doesn't matter what our elected Representatives pass as law -- it is up to us as individuals to deem whether the law is valid when we sit on a jury. Granted, Big Brother has hijacked our courts and instructs his judges to intimidate jurors to avoid jury nullification. But it is our right and duty to exercise our power to nullify a law when we do sit on a jury.

Duty Calls

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
― Thomas Paine


"The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.”
― Thomas Paine


I would hate for it to be totally voluntary.

Can you imagine all the people that have nothing better to do? The fox watching, self righteous people that want to get "them scum" off the streets?
People that would walk in thinking guilty before the trial even began.
Jury duty gives us the opportunity for nullification. I would stand in line to be a juror.

Formerly rprevolutionist

To atempt to force me to do anything

Is not the same as my voluntary participation. FOrce me under duress with threats to sit on a jury of a judicial system that I oppose of Judges that I do not accept or respect and have not agreed in any way to give or recognize their claims to have a position of authority over me.

So as it sits Jury Duty is just one more dictate in a dictatorship. Enlighened disengagement is my weapon of choice in my leaderless revolt. No is my final answer.


Of course there is. Give up

Of course there is. Give up your US citizenship. Heck, I believe you can just as simply become a citizen or resident of another nation. Boom, need to go to jury duty, SOLVED!

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a


How can I give up somthing that I never had. US Citizenship was pronounced upon me for me to give it up is to recognize that I have it. Do I seek permission to give up US CItizenship? TO seek this permission again means to recognize some higher authority that grants me priviliges and punishments is to recognize yourself as a slave to those who own and control the government. Me im not property. I was born as free as ill die.


I understand your point

I understand your point completely. At the core of it, I don't like the "compulsory" aspect either.

I think a jury duty summons would have a lot more appeal if We had more control over the when. The ability to pick the month of the year you will be summoned would be great. Or at least to have options to choose from so it wouldn't be as much of an inconvenience. Or, how about the ability to pass your summons on to a volunteer who WANTS to volunteer?

I don't have a problem with jury duty itself, but it would be great to have some sort of compromise.

You can postpone jury duty

You can postpone jury duty for various reasons. At least in the state of New York you can. School, economic hardship, newborn baby, etc. Eventually though, you do need to serve.

Inconvenience is one reason why many dread jury duty, but that isn't what really gets me angry. Compromise isn't the real issue either. The real issue for me lies in the government's ability to summon me at their will, and my forced obligation, regardless of whatever else is going on in my life.

The summons process of jury duty is directly in contrast to principles of individual freedom. It is another direct blow by government to self-ownership.

Even if I have all the time in the world, I should not be forced to participate in a process I want no part of.