I enjoyed the recent column by Larry LaRue highlighting some of the challenges that face our justice system in finding jurors who are willing to serve their state and local courts (TNT, 11-5). It highlights the importance that jurors play in our civil and criminal trials. Next to military duty, I believe that it is one of the most important civil responsibilities we have in a democracy.
Every day citizens, from all backgrounds, come to the County-City Building and are asked to resolve some of the most complicated and controversial issues and crimes that face our society. They sacrifice their pay, vacations and home life, and risk unlimited criticism for the service they perform for ten dollars a day.
Yes, there are those who have turned avoiding jury duty into an art form. However, I am constantly in awe of the service and sacrifice that most jurors gladly perform.
To quote Jose Baez, who was Casey Anthony’s defense attorney, “Our jurors are the lifeblood of justice, and we must honor and applaud them for their solemn task.” It happens every day in our Pierce County courts.
(Hickman is a Pierce County Superior Court Judge.)