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Jury duty: County jurors' work appreciated
May 6 through 10 was Juror Appreciation Week, a time set aside for all of us to thank those among us who have served as jurors in criminal and civil trials in courts throughout the state.
In Island County alone nearly 1,500 of our friends and neighbors receive notices in the mail each year that they may be needed to serve as jurors in district and municipal court. Many of those notified are actually required to serve, usually on short notice and certainly without much compensation. Jury duty can be demanding and difficult. Decisions must be made that affect freedom, property, and often even life itself.
Our founding fathers established the right to a jury trial as one of our fundamental rights and as a safeguard of our individual liberty. Each time a juror is called to serve, he or she is carrying out a civic duty, a duty not owned to the courts but to us all. We should be proud of those who serve. A juror is every much a public servant as a police officer, sheriffs deputy, marshal or member of the armed forces.
In our courts, when the jury enters the courtroom, everyone stands out of respect for the jurors. We all owe them a debt of gratitude. On behalf of the judges and staff at district and municipal courts of Island County, thank you to all who serve.