HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

More respect for jurors, please

Written August 27th, 2013 by
The Benton County Courthouse last winter.

The Benton County Courthouse last winter.

Our jury system may be brilliant from the standpoint of not leaving the administration of justice solely in the hands of lawyers. But to citizens called now and then to perform this role, it seems improvements could be made.

Many years ago, the jury I was on was sent into a small room right after being impaneled. There we waited for hours, and when we were called back in, we were told the parties had settled and “Thanks a lot, you can go now.”

Another time, in a criminal case, the testimony seemed to raise more questions than it answered. This juror wanted to interrupt: “You can’t be serious. What really happened there?” But jurors aren’t supposed to say things like that.

More recently, the jury summons conflicted with my schedule, so I asked for and was granted a deferment. The next summons months later interfered as well, but I didn’t want to ask again, so I came back from out of town earlier than I wanted, only to learn on the night before the summons date that no jurors would be needed after all.

Judges do their best to treat jurors with respect, but the system allows them to go only so far. We need some reforms. For example, how about firming up the need for jurors much earlier than the night before? And in courthouses with security checkpoints, as in Benton County, how about letting jurors keep their pocket knives? If they can’t be trusted with a knife, why trust them with a case? (hh)



   


Comments are closed.

 

 
HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany Carousel Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path Daylight saving time downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Oregon passenger rail Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River


Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering