Of the few ways one can “exercise” citizenship directly, being chosen as a sitting juror seems most capricious.
Ever since I turned 18 I’ve waited for the call.
Master jury lists in North Carolina are randomly drawn from voter rolls and driver license records. Having been a licensed driver and voting maniac (all elections except one 2nd primary) for over 30 years, I expected to have been selected at least once before now, yet it was only last month I was notified of my first opportunity to serve.
Given my activist background, I imagined that being selected to serve in court was a long shot. Still, getting my chance to discharge this citizen obligation was rewarding enough. Yes, I know it might sound a bit crazy to many folks, especially those who have tried and possibly succeeded in ducking the call, but I was excited my turn finally arrived.
Orange County has a fairly efficient system. You get a letter a month beforehand. You’re instructed to call a particular phone number (919-644-4516 in Orange County should you happen to Google this post) the night before to check your status.
After returning from this evening’s Board of Commissioner’s meeting I made that call.
The disappointing recorded message was short, to the point – “All jurors are excused. This concludes your jury service.”
Excused, yes. Concluded? Just doesn’t feel that way.