I do believe that to be an active member of our society, we need to participate. I am not saying that every person should run for public office. That participation is truly not for everyone. I am about to participate in a new form of civic duty starting this morning.
I have received a Grand Jury summons. While Grand Jury was a common part of the judicial process in earlier times, they are almost unheard of now outside of the United States. In the US, there are grand juries at both the Federal and State level. Since I am not going to the Federal building, I am not being summoned to a Federal Grand Jury. New York is one of seven states where counties have grand juries. I was summoned to Broome County grand jury.
The thought behind a grand jury is that of checks and balances. A district attorney or assistant district attorney must show the grand jury that there is enough evidence to try a case. While I can tell you that I have been summoned to serve on a grand jury, the proceedings of a grand jury are secret. Even the lawyers are not there should witnesses be compelled to testify.
Now, I will not attempt to shirk my civic duty and try to get out of this duty. I will show up. My biggest problem is that if chosen, the summons indicates all week this week and on a call-in basis on Tuesdays and Fridays for the following three weeks. This is not a quick and easy item. A significant commitment must be made.
I will let you know by how much I am posting the next week whether I have been chosen or not. Nothing else I can do about it but hope that everything works out for me. I have canceled, just in case, all my business appointments. I have an event I was suppose to go to this coming weekend on hold until I know as the drive will be too much if I am in a grand jury until 5 pm on Friday. I have a race I want to run that I am truly holding off my commitment until after I know if I am on the grand jury or not. I am fairly certain I do not want to do a 10 mile hill race if I cannot run my hills during the week.