A Los Angeles Times article titled, “Weighed Down By Recession Woes, Jurors Are Becoming Disgruntled,” brought to light some serious concerns about the California jury system.

A few years ago when we went to the one day, one trial system everyone was excited and cheering about how great the system had become. Well, it seems like the happy times are over and our jury system is showing some signs of wear and tear. I will be honest that I was just called for jury service and I was not too thrilled. I have been called a lot and ironically, my wife never gets called. Can someone explain that to me?  We are both registered voters and we both have California drivers licenses and have lived at the same residence for 13 years.

I have been through this plenty of times and find the process rather demeaning. You take time out of your schedule and you are treated like cattle. But, as demeaning as the process is, you really need to serve, even in these hard economic times. We all are experiencing some form of financial hardship during this times, but don’t make excuses. This is only time our country asks us to take the time to serve. It should not be too much to ask considering all the freedoms that come along with being an American.

The article in the L.A. Times talked about the problems the Los Angeles County juror system is experiencing. The county used to summon 55,000 people a week. They are now down to 45,000 due to court cutbacks. Of those summoned, only about half respond. The county in turn is looking a lot harder at claims of financial, medical and child care problems and for repeat no-shows it is imposing fines of as much as $1,500.

In L.A. County, nearly a 1/4 of the qualified jurors were released due to economic hardship last year. On one case involving my favorite subject, asbestos, 66 out of 107 prospective jurors were excused for financial difficulties. That is absolutely unacceptable.

I know the system needs improving. Personally I believe there needs to be a complete revamp of the jury system in our state. However, people need to answer the call and stop making excuses. The impact of a lousy juror pool is tremendous. Take the time and show up.

Cross Posted at www.CALA.com.