Jury duty and its implications in a "free" societySubmitted by nodeal on Fri, 09/13/2013 - 02:34
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?