MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

November 8, 2012

Potential jurors should serve

Our judicial system is based on defendants being tried before a jury of their peers.

It is designed to ensure life or liberty can’t be taken away without due process of law.

The police or government can’t just pick you up and hide you away in a prison.

However, justice can’t be served if Muskogee County can’t find enough jurors to conduct trials.

In the most recent two-week trial docket, only 110 people responded to 550 jury summonses.

That is so low that some trials had to be delayed until the next trial docket in February.

Justice delayed is justice denied — that’s another concept upon which our justice system was founded.

Defendants have a right to a speedy trial.

That’s something that can’t happen if people in Muskogee County dodge jury duty.

Some potential jurors may have moved out of the county.

Some may have passed away.

Some may have a legitimate reason to ask to be excused.

However, there are some who just ignored the summons.

That’s unacceptable.

Maybe they knew that ignoring the summons does not trigger punishment. There are no fines to be paid or no jail time to serve.

Potential jurors should answer the summons.

They should want to be a part of a system that is the best in the world.

It can’t work without the participation of citizens.

If citizens won’t bother to be part of the jury trial system, we are denying each other a constitutional right that many have defended with their lives.

The answer to the problem in Muskogee County is not just mailing more summons if people won’t respond.

1
Text Only
Opinion
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks