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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jury Duty

I was on call for jury duty this week, and today I reported. I was eventually dismissed by the defense attorney, which wasn't too surprising since it was a criminal case, and I spend most of my time reflecting on and writing about how to track and disrupt criminal and terrorist networks (what we often call "dark networks") -- see "Social Networks and the Fight Against Terrorism." Like many of the prospective jurors, a part of me felt annoyed by the possibility that I might be seated as one of the jurors, which is why I felt a certain sense of relief when I was asked to leave. Nevertheless, another part of me wanted to serve, in part because the case was intriguing and in part because my parents instilled in me a sense of civic duty.

That is probably why I became disgusted with prospective jurors who come up with the lamest excuses as to why they can't serve. I assume that if they're ever on trial, they'll want a jury of their peers, but they're unwilling to do their part so that others are afforded the same courtesy. I guess they shouldn't complain if the wheels of justice don't turn like they want them to.

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