Right now there is a high profile capital murder case about to be tried in my area. Luckily I do not live in that county as I likely would have received a jury summons. It seems like the entire county was called up.
Make no bones about it, I refuse to serve on a jury unless I am compensated dollar for dollar my lost wages. Every company I have ever worked for only allows two days off for jury duty per year and such cases as this one go way longer, which would mean I’d have to either completely expend my paid time off or take unpaid leave while being compensated a measly $40/day. That just ain’t happening.
Don’t give me this whole “civic duty” nonsense either. I do not believe in the notion of such for the same reasons I am not a believer in “social contract.” As a libertarian, I naturally reject state ownership or collective ownership of our lives. Jury service should be strictly voluntary, or if you really want to help someone out, pools selected from those who are unemployed or disabled. Then they get a bit of extra money while the rest of us don’t have to worry about forfeiting a large chunk of our incomes.
Alas, I have only been called for jury duty twice in my life. The first time I was a full time student so I was exempt anyway. The second time I did not have that option and was in full time employment so I used an excuse that I felt I could and that I likely would not be questioned on: I checked the box that says “I am not of sound mind or good moral character” and returned it. I never heard another word about it.
I always figured if in the small chance I was questioned on it I had an easy out anyway, namely my autism diagnosis. I don’t know if that would have flown but if not my 2nd option would be to claim I was not of good moral character – something I probably could do seeing as how I’m a left leaner in a very right leaning area.
Nonetheless I realize what a slippery slope it could be. Obviously I do not believe people on the autism spectrum (and particularly the higher functioning end) are mentally deficient. Could I maybe be doing the whole autism acceptance thing a disservice by using it as an excuse? I don’t want to unintentionally harm the community, and especially those who might be interested in jury service. Then again, how would they ever know unless one self-discloses it?
I don’t know. It’s a complicated topic for sure and something I sometimes struggle with. I can’t afford to take time away from work for jury service so I’m going to use the easy out, but at the same time I don’t want to hurt my tribe. Of course, if jury duty was optional as it should be this wouldn’t be an issue.
I don’t know. I would like to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. How would you react? Autistic or not. Please comment.