Many folks try hard to avoid jury service, which I have never fully understood. I consider jury service as an obligation of citizenship. Recently, Autauga County Circuit Judge Ben Fuller found himself in an unusual situation when he was called for jury duty. Judge Fuller was among about 125 potential jurors called to fill out the 18-member grand jury, but was excused, since he is one of the judges who would have to preside over any criminal trials that came about due to the panel’s actions. However, the judge wasn’t selected to serve on any of the court juries that week. He told the Montgomery Advertiser:
My name was in the bowl just like everyone else’s, but it wasn’t picked. I was really looking forward to going through the selection process. I think it would have given me an important perspective of what the jurors go through.
Judge Fuller has been vocal over the past few years about the importance of people showing up for jury duty. He became visibly upset several times when as many as one-fourth of those summoned for jury selection didn’t make it to the courthouse. The judge has been on the bench for 13 years and he knows first hand the importance of jury duty. Judge Fuller hopes his willingness to serve sets an example for all citizens. He believes – as I do – that “People need to understand that serving on a jury is a privilege.” Judge Fuller says, “For our justice system to work, we need the participation of citizens. If you had a trial coming up, civil or criminal, wouldn’t you want a jury of citizens engaged in the community to make the decision?”
Source: Montgomery Advertiser
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