I am curious (and furious) at the jury selection process in Palm Beach County! It seems that once selected, an individual gets selected repeatedly. I know people who have never been selected for jury duty, while I get selected yearly (at least given a summons to appear).
If the summons process was more equitable, I would be more understanding. Additionally, I am a healthcare provider and a small business owner. With yearly summons, I am removed from patient care for days at a time. Not only is this detrimental to my business, it removes me from attending to the needs of my patients, who I have been sworn to serve. Additionally, take into consideration the state of our economy. When I get called to jury duty, I have to furlough my 12 staff members without pay.
Perhaps I could divide the $15/day that I am receiving among them all as compensation for my absence! Not only can I not sustain my business on that wage, my staff (most of whom are single moms) find it impossible to maintain their households in my absence. If I am not producing, there is no income to pay their salaries or for sustaining for the business. Every time I have appeared for jury duty, I have expressed that concern, only to have it fall on deaf ears with flippant indifference.
I understand my obligation to uphold responsibilities to the Constitution and our legal system. However, there is something fundamentally flawed with the selection process. Not only has the frequency of my summons been disproportionate to the general population, the system is heartless and flippant when it comes to the selection of those who cannot afford the financial burdens of being called into service.
Florida has an unemployment rate of about 8 percent and a vast pool of retired individuals. I contend that this pool should be in the top priority of those summoned, rather than those trying to make a living in the post-2008 world where financial challenges remain ever present!
Laurence Grayhills, Wellington