Letter: The Call And Honor Of Jury Duty

Serving on a jury is more than just a civic responsibility. A juror has the power to transform a person’s life. It is one of the most important roles a citizen can play to serve in their community, in the justice system and their country.

At the Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, we manage Palm Beach County’s jury system, which randomly selects prospective jurors from a database of driver’s license records in Palm Beach County. Last year, more than 167,000 county residents were summonsed for jury duty — making decisions that have the potential to impact entire communities.

Understanding that jury duty may impact your daily routine, we offer many conveniences to make serving easier. Rescheduling is simple if you’re unable to report when summonsed. There is complimentary parking, movies in the juror waiting area, free Wi-Fi in the courthouse and computer access in the juror room. Jurors can also bring along laptops, tablets and cellphones to use while waiting.

Unfortunately, only about one-third of jurors summonsed for court actually appear for service. The United States Constitution guarantees all of us a right to trial by an impartial jury of our peers, a right that is vital to our democratic system and would be impossible without the thousands of people who serve every year.

I encourage you to embrace your responsibility as citizens to simply report to duty when summonsed. Most jury services entail a single day at the courthouse. And, those who do serve on a jury quickly realize and appreciate the weight of responsibility to their community.

We have many resources on our web site to help potential jurors understand the selection process, learn juror expectations and requirements, and prepare for their service. For more information, visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com.

Thank you to all who have served and will serve jury duty in the future.

Sharon R. Bock, Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County