Lady Justice is depicted wearing a blindfold, holding a set of scales in one hand and a sword in the other. The scales, depending on the depiction, are rarely balanced and there are some versions of her that omit the blindfold, but there is no doubt that justice can cut deeply, even through the bone. While we know our form of justice is far from perfect, it is one of the best systems we have come to know. And that’s why, no matter the situation, we should let it work.
In Washington, D.C., there is an ongoing investigation of possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Robert Mueller, a well-respected former director of the FBI who served under Republican and Democratic presidents is in charge of the query. The Vietnam-era combat Marine is above reproach and as special counsel has a fairly wide berth to follow where the investigation leads him.
In this day and age, his every move and that of his team of investigators, will be followed closely and everyone will have some sort of opinion. But here’s the bottom line at this point: Crimes may or may not have been committed. Charges may or may not be filed. The investigation has to go where the evidence leads it and even then, all of the work and possible indictments must be defended in a court of law and work through a well-established process that hopeful will find the truth in the end.
While that “truth” doesn’t always meet our satisfaction, we should be prepared to accept it. There have always been cases throughout time that continue to be litigated in the public sphere long after the gavel has been struck and a guilty or innocent verdict delivered. Those types of cases are more prevalent today because many of them have ended up in our living rooms. No longer do we have to spend time in far away courtrooms deliberating and listening to all of the evidence, just like judges and juries. We can watch big cases live on television, and if there are legal terms we don’t understand, there will certainly appear a talking head to come along and explain it to us.
But even with this increased court voyeurism, we can’t get the full impact of what’s going on without a full understanding — and the commitment — of those involved in the case. From the prosecutors to the defense attorneys to the jurors. They can’t afford to be uninvolved spectators. They have to know what’s going on every step of the way — and they must have a full grasp of the under girding of the laws that may or may not have been broken. Lives and reputations are at stake.
That’s what it takes for our system to work. That’s what it takes for Lady Justice to be able to stand, blindfolded, seeming impartial. But she can’t impartially stand if we don’t do our jobs as citizens. We have to show up.
There is a certain dread that comes over anyone when they get the summons for jury duty. Some of that foreboding comes from the unknown. We don’t know if we will be chosen. We don’t know how long the case will last if we are chosen, and we do know, being on a jury pretty much mucks up our work schedule. But it is something that, when done with the right attitude, brings great pride from participation. It is one of the foundational principles, being judged by a “jury of your peers,” that makes this country special.
If you have questions about jury duty in Bibb County go to: http://www.maconbibb.us/superior-court/jury-duty-faq/. For the federal courts this site is appropriate http://www.gamd.uscourts.gov/jury-information