I was throughly impressed with the Tribune this morning when I arrived at work. Our newspaper subscriber delivered! I paper was thick. I was so proud of the paper’s journalists and all of their work over the last 24 hours. I enthusiastically opened the paper and discovered the source of the thickness: a non-journalistic insert… the 2020 Jury Duty list.
“What do you have against Jury Duty?”, you may be asking. Absolutely nothing. In fact, as an advocate of active citizenship, I, once getting over my initial disappointment, automatically began skimming the paper for my name and the name of anyone else that I know. Sitting on a jury is an opportunity for engagement my in civic duty. As jurors, we get to convene with our peers and constructively deliberate the fate of our fellow man. Our country counts on us. We’re like, like, … (insert your favorite super hero here) because I only know Superman a la Clark Kent.
So, what exactly is my problem? Well, before I get on my soapbox, let’s start with the good stuff.
The list is extremely extensive. It’s organized alphabetically— for the most part— and you can easily find your last name to learn if you are on the list.
Have a common name? No problem, the list also outlines the addresses of the respective person, so her or she may self verify. Now here is where it start to have issues.
1. While the surnames of the jurors are alphabetized, the first names are not. So, Zaquita Jones, could be before or after Amanda Jones. Why??? This is a minor issue, but still begs the question, was is really that much more work to finish the process?
2. Listed addresses! Yes, listing your address is, in fact, a great way to self verify that you are the John K. Smith selected as a juror. However, John K. Smith’s physical home address has just been publicly listed! This makes me feel so unsafe. Dear Bahamas Government, did you just give the entire world opportunity to google their way to my home? Are persons receiving protective measures exempted from this violation?!
3. Is creating a publication ten times the size of today’s actual newspaper the best and most cost effective way to communicate my random selection as a juror in the year two thousand and twenty?
4. In spite of the extensive publication process, there are zero details within the paper to indicate what one does when one is selected! I found a list a family members who were chosen, but had to direct them to my mother, who previously served as juror, for explanation as to the next steps. Was there no extra space for instructions? None?
Tell me your thoughts? Are their more effective ways to communicate jury duty? Are citizens able to verify their selection without having their residential coordinates disclosed? Chime in![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]