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A jury of my peers


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You know it's Holy Week when you're selected to serve on a grand jury. Don't get me wrong: I was prepared for the possibility. But the reality of having your life highjacked three or four days a week for three months comes as a shock even if you weren't delusional enough to believe that it couldn't happen to you.

It was standing room only in the courtroom where we were called up to the judge according to a randomly assigned number. One by one, people were sent back out the door we had entered, or ushered beyond the judge's bench and out of sight. Of the 26 or so of us who ended up in the jury room, less than half had carefully read the summons we'd received in the mail several weeks beforehand. Some had no idea what a grand jury was. Most weren't sure they wanted to find out.

Suffice it to say there were considerably more than 12 "angry men." One or two selectees were extremely upset by the inconvenience of being pressed into jury duty. But while frustration was both understandable and tempting, I thought it was worth remembering that plenty of young men had been drafted into military service and sent into combat without any guarantee of coming home.

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