To Be 19 and Ignorant

Texas community college freshman Kelsey Gloston did not want to fulfill jury duty.  Called with 59 other prospective jurors to federal court in Houston, Gloston ignored the summons.  When the court clerk called to ask where she was Gloston blamed her absence on a flat tire.  When the clerk offered to drive her to court she said she was going to class instead.  When the clerk called back to say the judge himself wanted her in court the next day to explain herself, Gloston “repond[ed] rudely and hung up.”  The following day U.S. Marshals “rounded up” Gloston and brought her before Judge David Hittner “in ankle and wrist restraints . . .  wearing flip flops, a tight white T-shirt, short-shorts and sporting green streaks in her hair.”  The angry judge said “I’m going to hear exactly what your problem is with jury duty and what your problem is with how our country operates. . . . Nobody hangs up on our people.”  Judge Hittner released Gloston on instructions that she appear with a lawyer the following day for a contempt hearing.  Gloston appeared as ordered, apologized for her disrespect, and was let go with a lecture and a copy of the Constitution.  At first Gloston’s father planned to sue–of course–and blamed the judge for overreacting, saying of his daughter “she’s 19, she’s ignorant, she’s a kid. They don’t take anything seriously.”  (Way to have my back, Dad!)   Now he’s happy to put it behind.

One Reply to “To Be 19 and Ignorant”

  1. Victor Michael Pan

    It's hard to be representative when even decent folks with their unique perspectives refuse to participate in the jury system. Take my parents for example (and trust me, I've heard many other stories… which perhaps it's an overseas US immigrant attitude?) they actually told me to say that I'm strongly racist, should I ever encounter jury duty. Their reasoning was simple: the system is fair when people view the evidences provided to them in an unbiased light, so if you say you're systematically going to ignore those evidences, the system doesn't work. That time you spend on jury duty can be used on something else "more meaningful" – and the less contacts you have with the government, the better. So just say you're strongly racist, and you'll have beaten the system.

    My parents think they've won something by resorting these tactics. I personally feel that they may've won more days where they can do what they need to do (work, school, whatnot) but that was at the expense of another person's right to a fair trial. It's not just that one trial though. The effect multiplies as you repeatedly cheat the nation and the people, whom you're a part of.

    Anyways, just my two cents.

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