By ANDREW GUTHRIE FERGUSON for The Atlantic
How can one appreciate an obligation? This is a question approximately 30 million Americans don’t ask every year when they receive their jury summons because they are too busy grumbling about this core constitutional responsibility of citizenship. This is also a question of growing importance as courts are struggling to find enough jurors for trials.
It all begins with a letter in the mail. “Dear Citizen,” it reads. You hold in your hand an invitation. Sure, it uses the word “summons,” and is probably not the kind of invitation you look forward to receiving. Yet, it is still an invitation — an invitation to participate in the American experiment of self-government. And you can feel flattered that you have been invited. It means that you have not committed a felony (that anyone knows about), that you are mature enough to judge others, and that your community needs you. It’s only polite to accept. And, it’s even better to think about how you might enjoy the experience.
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