Recently, I was called to serve jury duty at the Thurston County Court. The timing was very bad for work, but this is an important obligation of citizenship.
The case to be heard was in the court of Judge Chris Pomeroy, and I was very impressed by her intelligence and sensitivity. It is a serious case, and a large panel was assembled for jury selection.
Much of the selection process entails waiting.
Unfortunately, during one of those times a member of the panel, perhaps hoping to be dismissed, stated that they believe the defendant is guilty. For this reason, Judge Pomeroy was forced to dismiss the entire panel. They could not risk a tainted jury.
It’s easy to understand why one would wish to get out of jury duty. There’s work to be done, fun to be had, lives to be lived. But jury duty is not only an obligation, it’s a privilege. Juries help to ensure integrity of our system of justice.
The self-serving individual who tainted the process not only demonstrated a disgusting disregard for due process, but wasted taxpayers’ money. They should feel ashamed.