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PTA Blog Talk

My Civic Duty

Published May 13, 2008 2:06 PM by Jason Marketti
I received my jury duty notice in the mail a while ago. 

After sitting in a crowded room for what seemed like days several of us potential jurors were sent to a courtroom. After painfully long instructions we were asked several questions about our families, children and whether we could be fair jurors in this case. 

I answered all the questions truthfully and became juror number two. 

Over the course of two and a half days the case was presented and we all went to the deliberation room to "deliberate" the case. Once seated in the room we took a vote and I was the lone dissenter, voting undecided.  The others, all 11 of them voted guilty immediately without a discussion of the facts and conflicting testimony. 

I often wonder how many times this happens, we make a decision based on what we want to hear and not even try to understand the other person's side of events. It is very easy to label, judge, or convict a person but it takes courage to stand up and say, "Wait a minute, lets examine this, lets take another look at these events."

I tried to understand my fellow jurors and some of them expressed that they did not get paid for jury duty and wanted to get back to work or school. For them it was easier to say "Guilty" than to discuss the case so they could continue on with what they do best. 

For me, I want to be absolutely sure I don't condemn an innocent person.

1 comments

I am one of the first PTA's to complete a formal program of education and be licensed in California, and as a "senior" PTA (in more ways than one) I really enjoy hearing from other PTA's.  Your blog is no exception.  I've worked in multiple states, in multiple job settings and in diverse cultural conditions.  I also enjoyed a brief tour of duty with the US Army as a PTA (an enlisted clinical specialist.)  

    Jury Duty is a civic duty, one I take very, very seriously because it is a privilege not granted to everyone, there are plenty of people who have lost this civil privilege due to criminal behavior.  It's not a duty, it's not a right.  It's a privilege pure and simple.

    As a PTA you are aware that there are criminal behaviors that will cause you to lose your license and you remain vigilant to keep your license at all costs.  Would you not want to have someone as yourself, a peer, sit on a jury should you ever be forced to defend yourself?  I think I would rather have a jury of licensed medical personnel sitting in court determining my innocence rather than 12 people who don't have to be constantly reminded of  civic responsibilities thrust upon us.  

    You owe it to your neighbors and fellow citizens to be that bridge to your community.  Don't resent jury duty, embrace the idea that you are of the exclusive group of citizens who retain the right to be called for duty.        

Janice, PTA May 20, 2008 10:13 AM
Los Angeles CA

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About this Blog


    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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